We’re in a real joy recession right now. I think most of us feel that. This past Summer I talked about resources to put out dumpster fires. But now we have train fires and global calamities and earthquakes and it keeps going and going, problem after problem.
Maybe, part of the reason we feel like we’re in a joy recession is because we think of joy as a passive resource that either comes or doesn’t. It feels like something that happens to us, not something we grow and create and cultivate. It isn’t a thing that has to be scarce just because the problems that are happening around us feel so big and so imposing. You can be joyful even during crisis. The world can still be full of beauty and wonder even if it is also full of terrors.
What that means is that our being joyful is a powerful act. Its a political act and a prophetic act. Even if it feels counterintuitive, and even if it is hard to maintain, being joyful in the face of calamity is a way of pushing back against the powers that make our world less just and less peaceful. As Stephen Colbert famously said, “you cannot laugh and be afraid at the same time.” I think joy is like that. It has antidotal properties. Fostering joy is crucial work.
Where you find it, of course, is up to you. What do you find that cultivates joy in your life? There are so many things that can fit that bill! This all made me think about a favorite, kind of ridiculous song––if you haven’t heard it and want to experience the ear version of stuffing your mouth with 20 different flavors of sour candy, it’s worth a listen 🙂
Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our creativity and intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**
Allan T. Georgia, MDiv, MTS, PhD