Love is the highest value in the kingdom economy, but it’s not the only value. The triumvirate of love, joy and peace show up again and again in Jesus’ teachings, and the writings of Paul. They are the core reality we aim at in our spiritual journey with Jesus.
All three are more than just emotions, they are overall conditions of the heart. They aren’t just pleasant feelings; they are the kinds of people we become through our apprenticeship to Jesus, who embodies all three ad infinitum.
And joy, like love, is incompatible with hurry.
All the spiritual masters – from inside and outside the Jesus tradition – agree on this (as do secular psychologists, mindfulness experts, etc.): if there’s a secret to happiness, it’s simple—presence to the moment. The more present we are to the now, the more grateful we are for what is, the more we tap into joy.
We often vow to give God “our future” with great aplomb and a heroic virtue. But the future is easy to give God for the simple fact that we don’t have it.
All we have is the present. The here and now. This moment, this pain, this joy, this gratitude, this surrender.
And the more moments we slowly and gratefully turn over to God, the more we tap into his joy.
Exercise for the day: Practice presence
Find one, simple act of delight to do today – read a poem, listen to a song, drink a cup of coffee, take a short walk – and do it slowly, practicing presence to the moment and gratitude.
Reading question: What good things do I pass over daily in my helter-skelter rush through life?
And that’s the memo.
By John Mark Comer from The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry