Has Jesus ever spoken to you? Not like a voice from the clouds, but maybe a line in a song or a stranger on the street—something catches your attention and you know, deep down, that it was meant for you? He may not have used his own vocal chords, but he spoke to your heart nevertheless?
It happened to me earlier this week. I’m not even sure what I was doing. Was I driving somewhere? Getting ready for work one morning? No matter the task, I was listening to iTunes Radio, my James Bay station, to be exact. A song came on (of course). I don’t know who the artist was (never heard of him), or what the song was called (I looked, but don’t remember). One of the lines grabbed my attention and resonated in my tired heart. For lack of a better way to say it, it seemed to be God’s own call in my life, for this season at least.
“Go,” the man (I imagine he’s bearded) crooned, “fill your heart with gladness.”
Go fill your heart with gladness…
That’s a mandate, an order. Like don’t just wait for life to magically become what you’ve dreamed of—go get your dreams yourself.
I’ve been praying lately to fall in love. Over and over again I cry out to Jesus, “Lord, I’m ready to fall in love!” And slowly but surely, I’ve become more openhearted, more available to the world, more willing to move outside myself. But I finally realized that I’m not praying for man to come along and sweep me off my feet (although my roommates are currently accepting applications on my behalf, fellas). When I pray let me fall in love, I’m really praying to fall in love with life.
I want to be 100% in my life. I want to love every second, even the hard parts. I want to cook good food and do fun things. I want to work hard, rest well, enjoy the people around me. I want to discover new places and return with friends in tow.
Instead of being stressed about the small stuff and letting time zoom past me, and magnifying my own misery, I want to be proactive about my happiness and everyday joy. No more waiting for life to “become” awesome—it’s time to make it awesome. Go, fill your heart with gladness.
This isn’t to say that I’m thinking of abandoning every responsibility and moving to an island to “follow my passion.” I want to live in reality, and have full heart doing it.
This is to say that, to an extent, I am responsible for my own happiness. We hear that old phrase, “God helps those who help themselves,” and while I never want to sound like a chirpy church lady, I think our grandmas and anyone who ever said that to us had a point. Like my boy Peter Kreeft says, “God is active and so are we” (Back to Virtue, 34). God is the “unmoved mover” (my other boy, St. Thomas Aquinas) but being made in his image means being made with capacity to love, to reason, and to exercise free will. Ultimately, we need to rely on him, but when he provides the grace, we must be willing to respond, to act, to move with him and go where he is going. To move with God is a choice. So is standing still.
And for now, He is moving towards a season of fullness after a season of waiting. He is stirring my heart with divine restlessness, a stirring forth and a moving out. I choose to move with Him.
Go, fill your heart with gladness.