You Can Feel God's Great Joy In All Things!
"What was said to the rose that made it open was said to me here in my chest...Whatever put eloquence in language, that's happening here." - Rumi, 13th century poet
Almost every evening, my wife and I will take our little dog for a long walk on the golf course near our house. As a treat, we usually let him off his leash so he can run free for a bit. Typically, we'll just keep walking and he kind of runs around us--sometimes ahead, sometimes behind.
Our puppy never strays too far from us, but occasionally we'll have to call him to catch up. When we do call him, he comes running as fast as his little legs will carry him, which is pretty fast. He runs with joy--in love with how fast he can move, and the freedom he feels to be able to just cut loose and move.
When I see our little dog run like this it makes me smile. No matter how hard my day has been, no matter how long the hours leading up to that moment... it amazes me to see how much joy he has in something as simple as running around on a golf course.
There's something divine about that kind of joy--a joy that permeates all of Creation.
In the book of Job we find these beautiful words:
“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)
Even those things we might consider inanimate objects in Creation are filled with this divine joy:
“Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made...” (Romans 1:20)
The line that I quoted at the beginning of this devotion is from the 13th century poet Rumi's poem, "What Was Said To The Rose." I suppose you could reduce the beauty of a rose unfolding, or a little dog running free on a golf course to some sort of biological explanation--a scientific dissertation on how the world works.
Or you could see it through the eyes of the poet who wrote Job, or Rumi---or even the Apostle Paul, who had a touch of the poet in him, too. If you want to find explanations for things, you can ask a theologian, or a scientist. If you want to know why something makes you feel the way you do, you look to a poet.
Divine joy is all around us--in every aspect of Creation. It is joy that opens the rose. Joy that fills my little dog's spirit as he runs. Joy that helps me to see these things and find my heart stirring within me.
May you experience the joy of the Divine today. May you feel God's joy in your very heart and soul as you move through his beloved Creation. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.