Flights of Faith

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pursuit and Emulation of My Father or Happiness and Joy

The first day I was in London with my Dad we were on the move. For some reason, my Dad has taken up a hobby of seeing Shakespeare plays wherever they may be. I honestly don't understand it, but we've all got our crazy. And I like Ol' Shakes. This time we were running for 'Romeo and Juliet' to be performed at the Globe Theater along the Thames.

I never know how to react when overtaken by happiness. It just starts to clothe me and then envelope me and then I am bursting with its joy. It's a manifestation of a joy I hope I feel pretty consistently. Early on in life, I chose not to seek happiness; instead, I was encouraged to choose joy. It has stuck with me even though happiness is more available these days. I still think about that commitment with a small amount of longing. What would chasing down happiness look like for me? Yes, this might be semantical but there seems to be importance in the distinction. The choice of joy without happiness enables one to more fully embrace suffering. In turn, it makes happiness somewhat foreign, a rare treat.

And this treat in London was delicious. I relished in following my Dad. He's such a shepherd. He will clearly make a path for me (and others) to follow but will always look back casually. If I ever go left around a pole and he's gone right, he'll make no fuss at first. Then, his left eye will survey his side. He is looking for his flock. If they are unseen, his head will whip like lightning until he's got confirmation of my location. He nods or smiles and then he's back to surveying the field. I love to be led -- by him and by others I trust. I do not walk or follow as much as I dance. I weave to the right to pass a crowd, to the left to avoid a small child. I am smiling all the while. I could be looking for signs for the Globe, but I choose against it. I just want to be free to follow, free to dance. There is freedom in being led by someone you trust.

Sometimes, my Dad would burst into a slight jog. It only took the instrumental version of Billie Jean randomly appearing on my iPod to develop a groove within me. I begin running too. Shoulders bopping, feet hopping. The Thames was the background for my music video. It was strange to so quickly pass my Dad, the man I used to race against. I pass him and become the leader. Our path is simply a straight one now. I dance, run, dance and run, stop, let my Dad catch up. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Then, we found out we were on the wrong side of the river. Thankfully, Millenium Bridge (pictured at the top and bottom) was there to help us out. We see its entry point. I look at my Dad, get silent permission, and then I begin to run. Never stopping, only pivoting, I dance across. My arms open wide, at times. I recognize my crazy appearance and delight in it. I am known over the water. People might be confused but my God understands. There is a time for this. This is it. I recognize my own happiness and joy, and I burst again. This is what is set apart for us. We will run and not grow weary. Water will flow forth like a river of His desires. I pass a homeless man. Guilt does not consume me. I stop for this homeless man. I attempt to share some joy with this homeless man. Then, I run on. As I exit the left ramp, I see my Dad on the right ramp. We are united. Five fingers extend and a connection is made. High five for finding what was lost. The Globe is near. We are not late to Shakespere's tragedy.


Blogger Obinna said...


You are such a good writer. This made me think of English 120 short stories. Honestly, I think you should publish this. It is incredible.

--- Message Wise: I like this idea of seeking happiness over choosing joy. Continue to seek it, Josh. Seek...and you will find.

I also liked the part about sharing joy with the homeless man. I'd like to talk about that one day, soon.

Remain Protected, my friend.

6:20 AM  

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