The Entry to Joy

I guess if I think hard enough, looking back, I most experience joy when I’m not pretending. When I live in the reality that I am not whole or perfect, I can enter into the possibility acceptance and hope.

When I play drums or have to track a song, I am most alive when I let go of perfection. I can enter into the song’s waves and motions, letting them inspire passion and grace. They move through my hands and feet–striking and creating.

But when I’m too focused on “it’s gotta sound perfect”, I miss the portal to joy.

I can fill in the blank for just about anything that I engage: pastoral counseling, checking in on others, writing a sermon, cycling, friendships, my marriage.

Joy cannot be analyzed, strategized, or explained. It can only be entered, and the portal into joy is confessing the truth: We are not whole. No one has to pretend, and the truth feels so good that we just want to cheer whenever someone exhibits it.”

M. Craig Barnes, The Pastor as Minor Poet