One of the activities our Third Chapter Planning Team offered
recently at church was a Movie Morning. A small group gathered to enjoy popcorn, a movie, and fellowship. We watched The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in which two men, unlikely companions, with a diagnosis of only months to live tackle items on their "before I kick the bucket" list.
Two questions are posed in the movie: Where have you found joy in your life? and How have your brought joy into the world?
I have felt and known so much joy in my life and experience meaningful moments of joy every day.
Being with a warm group of Third Chapter folks yesterday and sharing in their wisdom was one of those. Later in the day I met with my writing group and felt the joy of connection and acceptance and encouragement. Plus, the joy that comes from relief when one of our group shared good medical test results. Those all feel like big moments of joy, but there were so many small moments, too, when my heart lifted in joy.
--Turning on the Christmas lights
--Seeing a cardinal on top of the birdfeeder
--Feeling the car's seat warmer
--Tasting a piece of my cherry walnut bread
--Opening Christmas cards
The second questions is a bit harder to answer. It feels immodest to state where I have brought joy into the world, but I know where and how I have tried to do that, although certainly not always successfully --through my loving relationships, through my teaching and writing, through my practice as a spiritual director. Sometimes I feel another's heart lift because of something I have said or done, and there is a sense of shared joy.
I know when I try to live in light, to stay awake and aware, I am more apt to both feel joy and deliver joy, however miniscule. That seems like a good thing to remember during this season when we can be diverted so easily by our culture's view of how to experience joy and what "things" represents joy.
How do you answer the questions in The Bucket List? I would love to know.