Advent Devotion 19

Thursday Dec. 15, 2022

Health experts tell us that exercise is good for us.  It is important to move, to exert yourself, to put your body to use.  Activity has all kinds of health benefits.  So, for many years, I have pursued walking as my primary form of exercise.  Usually I walk around the park near our house.  I grab some water, some headphones to listen to an audio book, and sometimes a dog, and off I go.  On the way back I usually stop at our community garden and take care of things there.  Then I head home.  That is my exercise for the day.  Kind of like eating your leafy green vegetables.  Because you are supposed to.

What I have noticed recently is that, well, I actually like walking.  Getting out.  Enjoying the fresh air, even when it is beastly hot.  Seeing what there is to see along the way.  Encountering other people.  I have realized that I really do actually like going walking.  It’s not just about doing it because I ‘should.’  That was an interesting discovery.

And I am thinking that it might work like that when it comes to serving others; expressing the Christ within us.  Maybe we do something because, well, we think it is the right thing to do.  It is consistent with our values.  We know it is what we ‘should’ do.

But then, we actually find out that we like helping others.  We feel good when we make a difference.  Our life is better when we are investing it in the well-being of others.  And we may find that we have made new friends and relationships that are enriching our lives.  

We are told that Jesus promises his followers abundant joy.  Maybe when we seek Christ, we don’t just find added responsibility to weigh us down, but we find joy that lifts us up.  

Prayer

We are grateful that we have been called to a spiritual path that connects helping others and finding our highest good.  If we are not feeling joyful this season, maybe we need to find someone to help, a way to make a difference, or a place to listen to what someone needs to share.  When we truly seek Christ, we know we will find joy.  Amen.

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