joy4

Attending a wedding recently, I loved the vows written by the Bride and Groom. “I choose you above all others, I choose to love you, I choose to grow old with you…” Beautifully vows expressing their choice, their decision to marry each other.

Everyday we make thousands of choices. Some small and rather insignificant – what shoes to wear perhaps. Others more weighty – a work decision, a major financial commitment. Other choices relate to our reactions and responses to what the day holds for us.

At this time of year, we remember one woman, Mary – Mother of Jesus. To be told by an Angel that she would bear the Son of God would have been an overwhelming event!  And the out working of the word just as epic – to be pregnant while not yet married was potentially a disastrous turn of events. Of all the myriad of emotions that she could have been feeling – excitement, fear, worry, confusion, she chose to express one – JOY. Mary chose to respond with joy, to focus on the good and not the bad! To focus on God’s plan for her life and not the fear of people’s reactions.

Someone once wrote “there is not enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. Only you can decide which can live there.” That’s one of the choices we get to make. To choose faith over worry, faith over fear. And often this is a daily choice or one that even needs to be made hundreds of times in any one day. To intentionally choose to focus on the good, on God at work in our lives and not the things that bring us fear and worry.

“And Mary sang this song: My soul is ecstatic, overflowing with praises to God! My spirit bursts with joy over my life-giving God!” (Luke 1:46-47)

Today, I choose joy.