On my last trip to Kenya I met a new friend who chooses to live in the contagiously joyful moments of life. Have you met someone like that? Probably the best description of Savannah is, she has a contagious personality syndrome. Some personality contagions I don’t want, but this type of naturally contagious joy, I definitely want.
One afternoon my new friend found a group of kids in Kenya sitting outside a church on the grass and spontaneously organized a game of duck, duck, goose. It took her several attempts to explain the rules because the kids didn’t understand why they would tap someone on the head and call them a duck or why a goose would give chase on command or ever be expected to catch anyone who was really running. Finally, she just said, “watch me”, hopped up and started around the circle of kids tapping each child as she went calling, “duck, duck, duck” and then joyfully shouted “goose” over the biggest kid in the group, motioning for him to jump up, give chase and catch her. While she ran around the circle of kids focused on sitting down in the spot the chasing boy vacated, the boy chasing went right through the circle of kids and tagged her. The kids were roaring with laughter and she, stunned by this unexpected show of literalism, broke out in laughter that caught the attention of all who were in the vicinity. Suddenly, all the kids in the area wanted to play “duck, duck, goose” so she simply made the circle bigger and started again, this time choosing a much smaller child as the goose – who still caught her.
I have found there is a certain fearlessness that comes from joy, because joy is a product of peculiar dependence upon the Holy Spirit. A peculiar dependence Jesus describes in John 16:24“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete”.Jesus is saying, ask and your joy will be filled to a measure without deficiency. Are you a little joy deficient? Not only is joy contagious, it is inspiring. For two weeks I kept wondering, “how does she do that”? How does she find people to drop organic joy seeds on everywhere she goes? The answer; ask Jesus to fill up your joy deficiency and depend upon the Holy Spirit to keep you living in the moment. Who turns a little stream of water into a superhero action opportunity? A person who chooses to live in the contagiously joyful moments of life.
So in our pursuit of righteousness and peace, essential elements of faith in Jesus; let’s not forget about pursuing joyin the Holy Spirit, a contagious character attribute that will help you live in the moment.
~ Dennis Shillingburg
Romans 14:17; Gal. 5:22-23; Romans 15:13; Jude 24-25