“Busyness is the painkiller of an orphan spirit.” -Bill Johnson
Tonight, I jogged around ASU listening to Bethel Church’s sermon entitled “Infinite Father” by Bob Johnson, Bill Johnson’s brother (you can listen to it here).
The podcast wasn’t life changing necessarily (although Bob is hilarious) but it WAS thought provoking. After it finished and my was jog over, I went on a bike ride to keep processing with the Father.
You see in the podcast, Bob was talking about his understanding and relationship with Father God. Due to his Type-A personality and “getter-done” mentality, Bob was so ready to be productive and useful for the kingdom. He didn’t want to pray. He didn’t want to “wait on the Lord”. He wanted to act. And over the course of time, as he worked to be fruitful, he’d lost his joy.
And joy is directly correlated with our relationship with the Father.
You know what I’m talking about? It’s that place where you are simply whole and loved on by God… and you’re so full of joy that obligations and “productivity” are meaningless. This is not to say that you don’t get things done. But it’s the place where fullness of joy is one’s mentality - therefore any task (regardless of its inherent fun or necessity) is not burdensome.
There were a ton of things Bob talked about, but this joy thing kept me thinking…
Do I have joy anymore?
No… not really…
When did I last have joy?
Uh, I can’t remember…
What gives me joy?
Oh, so many things… undefiled worship, children, beauty, knowing God, nature, art, family, genuine friendship, counseling, teaching, being known, learning, living free…
As I assessed my current state of life, I came to the conclusion that I had lost my joy in life.
I’ve lost my joy in life.
Whether being a student in college, “growing up”, having responsibilities or WHATEVER it was, joy had been absent for awhile.
Even things I do love, such as listening to others, hanging out with friends, and worshipping had become too technical/mechanical or burdensome or an obligation or a checkmark on my To-Do list.
How did this happen?
Had being at ASU given me such a “productivity mindset” that I’d literally forsaken and marginalized all that I’ve loved just to accomplish something? I’ve been so busy this last year that I no longer remembered joy.
It became so twisted that busyness and productivity was the only thing that made me feel happy.
In addition, I began seeing many parts of my life filled with fear (fear of letting others down, fear of being imperfect, fear of failing, and thousand other incredibly irrational ideas).
What the hell?
This is completely unacceptable!
As I was talking to the Father about all this, he gently said “When you lose joy, fear fills its hole”.
When joy is gone… when I forget that I am a child of God… when I forget that all things work out for my good… when I forget that He is for me… when I forget that it is my Father who takes care of me (not me taking care of myself)… when I lose sight of destiny - fear takes up residence in my soul and rules me and my thoughts like a slave driver.
And I will not stand for this anymore.
The Word is full of joy (just look!) And that joy is mine (and yours!) to take hold of.
Forget fear. Forget busyness. Forget obligations.
Go ahead, ask the Father - “Do I have joy? Do I have it abundantly?” And more importantly, ask Him “What gives me joy?” - and seek that out with all your heart.
Because ultimately, it should lead you straight into His heart.
In the end I guess, being “beautiful” is actually of little importance or worth really…
Beautiful people are a dime a dozen. Beautiful hearts are a bit harder to find.
I guess in the search for my own beauty, I pray I acquire that of a gentle and quiet spirit - a heart that has been bold to live, steadfast to love, and unyielding in character.
I desire an unfading heart.
I desire a heart that is so much more beautiful than what I see on the outside.