How to build future joy

How to build future joy - Ralph picks up rocksRalph and I have been discussing rocks — that is, rocks representing tasks in our path of daily life — and the importance of reducing stress by picking up just one rock at a time.

We’re both very busy people with more on our to-do lists than we ever have time for. Although we’re careful about making sure that we give time to each other and to our relationship, stress affects how we relate to each other, and it affects our health and even possibly how long we’ll be alive for each other. So, the effort we put into reducing stress is a gift that we give to each other.

A good way to reduce stress is to avoid worrying about having too much to accomplish and how to accomplish it. If we do our best to follow Christ and listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance,  God will lead us through it. He is responsible for getting us to the goal, and we are responsible for picking up and handling one task (one rock) at a time toward that goal. Thus, we accomplish much with the Lord, and the journey is joyful instead of stressful.

There’s a problem with this, however. By focusing only on the rocks at our feet and picking up and doing the task that’s right in front of us, we fail to leave room in our wheelbarrows for important future rocks. In other words, some of the rocks we see today look like they should be picked up and dealt with but in reality they are distractions from the work of building the future. 

In the life we build with our beloved, do we leave room for God to add children or change our careers or develop ministries? Most of the rocks on the path of today are short-term projects that we respond to because we’re tripping over them. They feel urgent, but many of them are not very important in the long term. They capture our attention, and it’s easy to pile up these rocks into a prison wall that restricts our growth and forward movement.

Long-term projects and goals and developments are easy to postpone. Whether it’s a question of when to have children, while we’re young, or how to turn the wisdom we’ve gained from life’s hardships into ministry, while we’re approaching old age, we must remember to look for rocks that lay groundwork for the future. These are the rocks that are very important but not urgent.

The effort we put into gathering rocks that build future blessings and unpredictable joys is a gift that we give to our marriage and to the world.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What dreams have I postponed?
  2. What dreams does my beloved have?

Strengthen your relationship:
Imagine together: What might be the dreams that God has for you as individuals and as a couple? Then pray, asking the Holy Spirit to inspire you with ideas and determination to turn these dreams into reality more and more each day.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries

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