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Ode to Joy

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ode to Joy

Well, it’s been quite a day. Quite a week or two or three, actually.
I work in a small bakery. I was filling in for my manager as she took a well-deserved vacation, and along with the responsibility for my department came the stress, grumbles, “ooops-es”, and concerns that go along with management. She’s been away for three weeks, so that was three weeks of getting up at 5 am to be at work for 6 (bakers start early, as you can imagine). My poor family… missing me… needing me… getting by with more-than-usual take out food, limited clean clothes, and dust you could write your name in…
Today was the last day of covering for her, and I was (am) excited about that. As much as I’ve enjoyed the new responsibility, it’s time to get back on track and back to a regular sleeping pattern. My constant prayer was that God would hold me up and give me strength, because I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. Every day, I asked Him to lead me, guide me, instruct me. It was a lesson in humility, actually, as I leaned on Him completely.
Anyway, as I said, today was the last day. It was still early and I was taking a tray of freshly-baked pies out of the oven. Mmm, they smelled so good and they were the perfect shade of golden-brownness. As I turned with the tray, I clipped the side of the oven door and the whole tray fell to the floor in a sticky, gooey, fruity, steaming mess. Honestly, I stared down at them for a moment, saying nothing…. then it came. No, not tears… the sound that came from my throat was laughter. As I looked down at the carnage wondering if I could save any of them, I delighted in the fact that Jesus is still my Savior, that this had no eternal significance, and mostly that the Bible says we are to count it all as joy. Joy. JOY! My heart was sad because I had dropped these lovely pies, but honestly, I was still joyful.
Happiness is dependant on circumstance. Joy is not dependant on circumstance. Regardless of our situation - and we absolutely do have sorrowful and difficult times in life - if you know and love Jesus, the joy is always there.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”
Philippians 4:4 NLT
(Oh, and by the way… my co-workers were happy to dig into the mess with plastic spoons.  Apparently, teenaged boys will eat anything!)
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