When Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he said, "I wish you knew today what would bring you peace" (Luke 19:42, NCV).
Which (along with my posting day before yesterday about self-care and why I see a shrink) prompted me tonight to give thought to the things that bring ME peace, practices that add to my peace and joy and general sense of well-being:
* PRAYER...particularly in the sense that I like myself more and feel better about my life and ministry--and just generally function better--when I am consistently in prayer;
* FAMILY...my wife, kids, and grandkids make me happy. They bring me joy. I love every moment I spend in their presence. I don't even have to be the center of attention.
* READING...particularly in the sense that I love life when I am in the midst of an utterly engrossing book. Not just any book, but one that is a joy to read.
* OUTSIDE...I agree wholeheartedly with William deBuys's comment--"Sometimes the easiest answer to our difficulties is not so much to get outside ourselves as to get ourselves outside." Being outdoors (in the woods, especially) is a tonic to my soul.
* MUSIC...not just any music, but James Taylor, Shane & Shane, Donnie McClurkin, Michael McDonald...
* WORSHIP...almost every weekend, even when I am at my lowest, I am transformed by worship at The Loft.
* PREACHING...my own, mostly, as self-centered as that sounds. But it's the truth. When I am soon to preach (or just have), all is right with the world.
That's at least the top 7, I'm pretty sure. Maybe soon I'll give some thought to the things that most easily sap my joy.