Monday, December 22, 2008

Amy’s Advent Commentary #3 – The Shepherds.

Well, there’s no way around this one. They talk about shepherds, and so did I in my Shepherd monologue. I named him Frank. Frank the Shepherd, and his buddies were Harry, Larry and Stewie. In Amyland, the shepherds are telling ghost stories to scare each other when the Angel of The Lord appears (Gabriel making a cameo appearance with his bad jokes again.) so they’re doubly freaked out.

I don’t know, this one’s pretty straightforward. An angel appears to you and tells you that something’s happened, yeah, you’re pretty much gonna drop everything and go check it out.

I’m trying to think of a modern day equivalent. Like, if an Angel Of The Lord showed up and said, um, um, there’s a golden burning bush on top of Runyon Canyon, go check it out because it’s a sign about something I’m gonna do, yeah, I’d probably say I’m sick at work and go check it out.

There’s no doubt about what it is, is the thing. The Angel appears, there is no shadow of a doubt that it’s an Angel of The Lord. But He doesn’t work in those obvious ways these days, does He.

Do you suppose when those Shepherds grew up to be like, 80, their kids would suffer silently at the kitchen table as good ole Grandpa told the story AGAIN of the night the Angel Of The Lord told them about a Savior being born in the town of Bethlehem? Yeah, yeah, Grandpa, we’ve heard this one already.

Well. SOMEBODY’S a Ms. Crankypants today, isn’t she.

I’m not really the type of person who gets into Joy so much, so celebrating Christmas is hard for me.

And of course some well meaning twits would say that’s your whole problem right there, Amy. You need to learn to experience Joy. Then you’ll understand God soooooooo much more. Everything will make soooooooo much more sense.

How, exactly, does one experience Joy? I’m serious. Anyone wanna give me some ideas in the comments?


peter said...

after deciding not to make my post a joke about an almond and coconut candy bar...

i did an interesting exercise stemming from the book 'a new earth' that told me to go experience nature--a park, a hike, the beach, whatever--without 'naming' anything. as if i didn't know what a tree, the sky, the ocean were. just to experience them without naming them. to name them is to put them in a box and they are so much deeper with presence and life than the name for them could ever convey. naming things can take us away from experiencing them...we feel like we know them because we have a word for we don't need to pay attention to them anymore if we already know what they are.

anyhow, i did this experiment at the ocean and found it to be pretty intense and there was definitely some joy mixed in with some other things i felt.

i'm not sure i'd recommend doing the exercise strictly on my description. the book (so far) is interesting. i admit, i also did some of the supplemental 'new earth' exercises that oprah put on her website.

Midlife Virgin said...

Joy, to me, are those pure moments when I'm just lost in that second - not analyzing it, not trying to figure it out, just existing and just experiencing. I think of your puppy toes moments as moments of pure joy because they are pure joy to me when you post the pictures. There's no agenda, there's no analysis required, there are no expected returns or expectations, just puppy toes. Those moments when your head is not driving your metaphorical car - you're just there, laughing at the puppy toes.

I have found much joy in just allowing simplicity and not trying to figure out how I "should" feel, I just feel. When I paint, there is joy because it's all still new to me and I can get lost for hours in it. When I'm with the few very good friends and we laugh until we can't laugh anymore.

I don't think we can possibly experience God in one long extended tangible amount of time because I think our tiny human brains would explode. I think those tiny seconds of joy that come with appreciating puppy toes or a true single laugh with a good friend or the perfect piece of chocolate is the exact amount of God we can handle at any given time. Over a lifetime, those tiny moments build into our glorious life experience with God.

Or not.

Gib said...

You do joy. You're just not noticing it when you do!

You're so funny. And you have a great laugh.

That's joy. Two kinds.