Late last night I sat in our family room surrounded by visiting family. The kids were in bed and the adults were all laughing. We were having the kind of conversations that only families or close friends can have--the kind full of inside jokes, knowing looks, and the occasional roasting--all done without any worries that someone might be offended. It was freeing and uproariously fun. In the midst of the laughter I had a moment of dread. I thought to myself, "Ugh. Sam will be up in about 3 hours asking for who knows what." The dread of the night was threatening to steal the joy of the moment.
And then it occurred to me: I've been forcing myself to live in the moment during the rough times. I've had to focus on my current tasks without extrapolating into the future. If I give my hard times the privilege of full presence, why not do the same for my joyful times. Why not work just as hard to be fully present to joy. And so I did. And it was a wonderful evening. I laughed without dreading the coming hours. I enjoyed the evening to the fullest.
An interrupted night's sleep is fertile grounds for the ability to remember vivid dreams. Last night, for example, I dreamt that I was running around The Mall of America as quietly as I could so as to not disrupt the rogue toddlers who were looking for me in order to shoot me. Yes, you read that right. I was being hunted by three-year-olds toting pistols. With bullets. Which they used on me whenever I accidentally made a sound. How about them apples, Freud?
The gun-sling toddlers were interrupted by Sam who ran into my room yelling, "Clean my hands! Clean my hands!" Given the craziness of our nights I fully expected him to follow this out with the pronouncement, "Out, damned spot!" (Act 5, scene 1, line 35 for all you nerds out there.)
So it was a rough night, but I am pleased to say that its threatening shadow did not siphon the joy out of the previous evening.
"The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6
"In your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11
I am enjoying the fullness of joy this morning!