Joy is a lodestone in the pit of my stomach.
That’s not a word I use or think about much–lodestone–unearthed from ancient English roots that have clumps of fairy and sea monster and runes clinging to them. A lodestone is that magnetic rock with near-magical properties that draws, and pulls, and guides.
I center around joy, rather than it blanketing me. Happy blankets. Happy flits in and out. Happy is handmaiden to circumstance.
But joy, deeper, more powerful, conjures despite circumstance, despite mood, despite whims.
I drive the same road every day to pick up Miss I from elementary school. At one time, I found the road, as it wound between a cleft in hills, to be dark and depressing, squeezing only a few hours’ worth of light from the sun’s daily progress. And now, I drive the same road and each day find my soul thrilling to some new aspect: the golden leaves, the serpentine progress of asphalt, the spitting rain that demands I plan a snack time of hot chocolate and fresh-baked muffins. Different circumstances, but joy remains constant. Joy drawn to and from the lodestone in the pit of my stomach.
Had I placed the lodestone in my own stomach, the stone would be labeled “happiness.” Happiness is wonderful when it’s here and leaves a sorrow-stain when it departs. I don’t trust happy.
That mystical lodestone Joy has properties far beyond my control. That mystical lodestone comes from a deep-seated belief that I am God’s chosen child, the beloved of a God who delivers good and can take even bad (mine or others’ ) and transform it into its polar opposite. Joy comes from knowing that that kind of God is directing my path, regardless of where that path takes me–the open horizons or clefts of life.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” Romans 11:33
Day 23 of 31 days. For the month of October, I’m joining in on 31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes. Following the rules to write an unedited response to a prompt in 5 minutes, I’m grateful for the challenge of Write 31 Days.