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Daily Devotion: Live in Joy

Doing something simply because it makes you happy is a good spiritual practice.

Devotional writer, Jon Sweeney

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? Matthew 6:26

St. Francis of Assisi is known most of all for preaching to the birds, but he also inspired Christians to live differently. The other day, I followed a key Franciscan principle, straight from the Gospel: Live less for security and more in joy and anticipation of what God can do in your life.

I live in Vermont, and for twelve years I’ve driven sturdy, reliable cars for the sake of their longevity and their ability to plow through snowdrifts. I’d driven my latest car as far as it would go—nearly two hundred thousand miles—and it was dying fast.

To replace it, I bought a used Mini Cooper. This zippier, tinier, fuel efficient car required me to let go of some of my old worries: Will I get as much use out of this car? Will I end up snowed-in next winter? I had to accept the fact that I can’t ultimately answer those questions. Instead, I bought my car because it would bring me joy.

I realize this is a very little thing in the big picture of life. But St. Francis always told his friars, when they planted the annual vegetable garden, to be sure to leave a portion of the soil for planting flowers. Flowers had no practical value; they gave the friars no security against the winter months; but Francis called them his “sisters” and he loved to look at their beautiful colors.

When you make decisions that bring joy to yourself and others, you can see that Jesus knew what He was talking about when He told us to be more like the birds of the air. 

Teach me anew, Lord, to live a resurrected life.  I’m ready and willing to live in joy.

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