Today while reading and driving home from Colorado, I "ran into" this and thought it useful in terms of yesterday's ramblings about being good at something. (Don't worry--I wasn't actually driving, though this quote did drive a lot home for me--uh...yeah. I'll stop now.)
"How can you know when the Lord is calling you into some vocation?...You can know by the happiness you feel. If you are glad at the thought that God may be calling you to serve Him and your neighbor, this may well be the best proof of your vocation. A deep joy is like a compass, which points out the proper direction for your life. One should follow this, even when one is venturing upon a difficult path." -Mother T (tougher than even Mister T)
Oooooo. A deep joy is like a compass. She is speaking my language here. But I want to be clear on this, too. I'm not excited about this statement because it seems like a good excuse for just having a good time. The second part here reminds us that it's a "venture" that might require us to walk a difficult path. Believe me, when I choose to "follow my joy" by eating an entire bag of Doritos, this is not the same thing at all. This is not the 60's kind of abandon that found us "loving the one we're with" and doing "whatever got us through the night."
You know the kind of joy she's speaking of here. You've known it suddenly, like the light of a star passing through you. The perfect moment when peace and joy fit inside you and: IT. IS. ALL. RIGHT. You forget your name. And you feel God's sweetness and the honey from the rock and it makes you...not just happy. Happy is this feeling that comes and goes depending on your circumstances. Ah, but joy. Joy isn't a feeling. It's pure spirit--the kind that lifts you out of your boots, straightens your socks, and puts you back where you came from but with a clearer sense of how your boots are the right boots, the kind that can walk through anything including a pile of fear. Joy says, "I'll do it scared if I have to, but I'd rather do it laughing."