There’s a lot of talk about joy lately. Thanks to Marie Kondo, waves of people are re-introducing themselves to their belongings and deciding what sparks joy and what does not. The idea is that you keep what brings joy and toss what doesn’t (after thanking it for its service). Now, I don’t plan on going through my possessions anytime soon. Mostly because I got rid of everything but a few necessities and personal items when I moved out of Residence at Ambrose last December. You have to do an extreme version of Kondo’s method if you want to fit your life on a plane. I needed to get rid of a few items that “sparked joy”, and honestly I’m doing just fine. There are days when I miss some of my favourite tops and wish I had another pair of jeans, but the body is more than clothes right? Instead, I’ve been trying to be more aware of what parts of ministry are sparking joy for me. And it’s helped me progress in my goal of discerning my calling.
Sure, not all parts of ministry are going to be enjoyable. There is nothing really joyful about setting up tables or planning a funeral. But there are things that will give me joy because they fit me perfectly, like I was made for them. One of my internship goals is to better understand my calling. To help achieve that goal, I’m learning about my gifts. There are things I can do, and want to do, that are unique and special to me. And when I do the things that I was made to do, it feels me with more joy than I can contain. A pastor here told me that I ‘light up’ when I talk about creative worship. I think that is from the joy it sparks inside me!
I want to point out the difference between comfort and joy. We often want to stick with what is comfortable, or familiar. It feels safe, and maybe easy. But we all know the benefits of leaving your comfort zone. At first, everything about my internship was unfamiliar and uncomfortable. There are still things that are uncomfortable, and I expect that some things will always be uncomfortable for me (like the mid-service greeting time). But there is joy despite the discomfort. Doing things that spark joy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re staying in your comfort zone. It means you’re using your strengths and gifts in the right way -- the way God created you to use them. I think if something sparks joy for you, you’ll want to explore it more and push farther into the unknown to pursue it.
I’m discovering new things about myself every day. I’m learning about who God has made me to be and how I’m equipped to serve Him and His church. If you’ve been wondering about your calling, I encourage you to pay attention to what sparks joy for you. Who knows what you’ll discover!