A Time to be Joyful

 

Right about now, you might be asking yourself, “How bad can things get in this country?” Many of us would agree that the state of the union is not great. But the soul-saving gift of this time of year, which is now the Jewish month of Adar, is that during Adar, we increase our joy.

Right.

You may be wishing that you could just snap your fingers and joy shows up. But life doesn’t work that way. Each day, whether we realize it or not, we have a choice about whether we want to be unhappy or joyful: do we see opportunity or desolation? Darkness or light?

This call to be joyful comes out of the story of Purim, which begins on 13 Adar, or March 16 this year. At this time in history, the Jews were deeply oppressed and the villain of the story, Haman, planned the genocide of the Jewish people. But through a series of propitious events and their own resilience, they survived.

My point is not to provide a detailed account of Purim, but to reflect on the month of Adar and the potential it offers us. Although we can choose joy every day, Adar calls to us to choose joy every day of the month (or in some cases months)! How is that even possible?

We can make that choice because, for Jews, Adar encourages us to find the happiness whether there is darkness or light. For example, I can list all the destructive actions of the Biden administration, and allow myself to be overwhelmed by them. Or I can choose to recognize the happiness in my own life.

My joy comes from my husband making me laugh. It comes from getting a PM from a Ricochet member. It comes from seeing baby goats or a baby zebra that has befriended a baby rhino. It comes from laughing with a friend about our latest goofs. It comes from noticing how much longer my hair is growing. It comes from seeing the joys that folks are getting from their rescue dogs. It comes from a man celebrating the happiness his daughter brings him. It comes from marveling at the gift of writing I’ve been blessed with.

The month of Adar invites us every day to realize that in spite of the difficulties unfolding in the world, we have many blessings. We have opportunities. We are not hungry. We have our loved ones. We have a roof over our heads.

Although this is technically a Jewish month, I invite all of you to appreciate and make each day a joyful one.

And remember the most amazing blessing of all: we are never alone.

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There are 8 comments.

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  1. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Very well said, as usual, @susanquinn.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Very well said, as usual, @ susanquinn.

    Thanks, Jim. I figured I should try to spread the joy around!

    • #2
  3. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Any holiday that has its own cookie is OK in my book.

    Susan Quinn: Adar calls to us to choose joy every day

    Purim plays are always fun (we have even done them at my church). Sure, attempted genocide isn’t the funniest thing that can happen, but Haman failed and as you say, “choose joy”.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Any holiday that has its own cookie is OK in my book.

    Susan Quinn: Adar calls to us to choose joy every day

    Purim plays are always fun (we have even done them at my church). Sure, attempted genocide isn’t the funniest thing that can happen, but Human failed and as you say, “choose joy”.

    If it’s Jewish, there has to be food! (except for Yom Kippur). Thanks, Vance.

    • #4
  5. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    The hair is looking good! Joy!

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    The hair is looking good! Joy!

    Thanks, Justme! But it does what it wants!

    • #6
  7. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    I wish my hair would grow back but then again, I save money and time on combs and brushes.  There is always a silver lining, even if it is plate.

    • #7
  8. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    An Evangelical friend introduced me to the phrase “Joy is a choice” a number of years ago. It was big in those circles, I think. I’ve ruminated on it ever since. After a few years of scoffing, I have come around to seeing the truth and wisdom of that simple, but so difficult, saying. 

    Today I choose joy.

    • #8
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