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Let Joy Be Your Guide

I was reading Portland Magazine, and the thoughtful, smart, devoted editor, Brian Doyle, described the point of the university’s work as

creativity and innovation and epiphany and camaraderie and discovery and enlightenment and laughter and love, and of those things there is no end.

And, of course, I loved the list and all the conjunctions.  The feel that this definition was going to give the work of education a sense of limitlessness instead of boundaries.  Anything is possible!


On the one hand, feeling boundless is really freeing.  But it might also start to feel a little scary.   How exactly does that boundlessness translate into more mudane things like curriculum choices and ordering your day.  I think the key is discernment.  That can be just another sort of amorphous word that’s hard to pin down, but it doesn’t have to be.  We haven’t been left to ourselves; we have the Holy Spirit as a guide.  Ask for the grace you seek.  Ask for clarity of vision and wisdom.  A good place to start might be with the question–does it spark joy?

Does this published resource make me all kinds of happy?  Use it!  Does this course of study make me anxious to start each morning?  Do more of that!  Does that mean that if there isn’t joy, then you can skip the subject?  Maybe.  It might also mean that this is a place to triangle in help–classes on DVD, a co-op, a tutor.

But don’t let that spark of inquiry and excitement die. Watch, listen with the ears of your heart.

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.    Proverbs 4.18

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