Thursday, October 27, 2016

Seeds of Joy

In the simplest terms, the Ignatian practice of reflecting on consolation and desolation, consolation is what brings joy and desolation is joy's absence. However, life is almost never just one at a time. The two may be - and often are - mingled. Consolation, really, is what draws me closer to the God who is my joy, whose present Spirit enlivens, which may happen even in the midst of misery and sorrow.

I'm in the soggy jacket up front.  We haven't even started yet. This is just the     
warm up.
Yesterday morning I was both cold and miserable but reflecting on it, I also recognize a joy which is my consolation. I spent almost 4 hours in the pouring down freezing rain on the soccer field of my child's school working on building four wooden benches. I know that I will experience the fullness of this joy in due time when the benches join the work of over a hundred other community volunteers in a new playground for our elementary school. All built in one miserable wet day.

It crossed my mind more than once to bail on this project when I looked at the forecast for the day and again when my windshield wipers were working at full speed on the way to daycare drop-off. I was not thinking about where I might find God's joy but of how maybe I was feeling a little sick and should go home to bed. But I showed up, I discovered friends, met community members and other school parents and together we build a playground. God's un-named Spirit at work.

This is not a church story. Most of our stories aren't. It's the story of where we spend most of our lives. In work, in schools, in volunteer roles, in family. It's not a church story but it is a God story. May you all find the seeds of consolation joy as you think on your stories today.

Two of my team-mates sitting on the bench we just made.

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