The Permanence of Joy

by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff

“Write your sad times in sand, your good times in stone.”
— George Bernard Shaw

What a great thought! Some may think this is wishful thinking, but this is the truth from A Course in Miracles’ perspective. We need to keep focused on the joy in our lives because that is what we are entitled to. The sad times, the fears, the anger, and depression may seem very real to us, but they are not our truth. We are entitled to miracles . . . we are entitled to the gift that God is holding out to us in this very moment.

Yes, God is giving us a gift at this very moment. As a matter of fact, He is actually laying it in our laps. But, like that proverbial “hot potato,” we seem to toss it away in favor of life’s dramas. We are entitled to so much more.

It is not denial that makes us feel better about ourselves; it is aligning with the truth, with love. The truth is we are heirs to the Kingdom, and it is God’s pleasure for us to experience it. But, like the prodigal son, we have wandered away in search of something better, a something that only brought us sorrow. It is now time to come home, to turn to God in our hearts and minds –- to take a moment each day to remember Him — not in fear or guilt but in joy.

When the prodigal son had squandered all his money and had nothing left, he finally returned home to his father. The father welcomed him home like the prince he was. With a hug and a celebration, the father felt no anger toward his son, nor did he admonish him for his wandering. The sad times were written in the sand and washed away almost as soon as they had happened. All the father held in his heart were the “good times” — the love that He had for his son and the love that his son truly was.

God is waiting for us to come home to Him. We start by allowing the sad times to be transformed into a miracle as we focus on God’s love for us and for all His creations. Make today a day when you extend a kindness (perhaps an unknown one) to another without expectation. Give as God gives, and feel the joy that will be written in your heart.

“Let our gratitude unto our Teacher fill our hearts, as we are free to choose our joy instead of pain, our holiness in place of sin, the peace of God instead of conflict, and the light of Heaven for the darkness of the world.” (W-190.11)

“I choose the joy of God instead of pain.” (W-190)

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