"For this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Nehamiah 8:10 NRSV)
Ron DelBene was searching for answers in his life. He heard about a very wise spiritual guide on the west coast and made an appointment with him.
The wise man asked Ron why he had come to see him. For the next sixty minutes Ron poured out his hopes, fears, anxieties, and dreams. "Now," directed the wise man, "pay attention!" Ron thought perhaps the teacher would place his hands on his head or heart and he would explode in ecstasy. But he didn't. The wise teacher simply rattled off three things Ron should do. Before Ron had a chance to respond or ask any questions the Wise One left the room. Ron felt disappointed.
After Ron returned home his wife, Eleanor, asked him about his meeting with the Wise One. She listened intensely to her husband's every word. "He told me that there are three things I must do," Ron said. "One, pray unceasingly. Two, go home and love my wife and children. Three, do what needs to be done."
Eleanor looked straight at Ron said, "Thank God, someone finally told you that!" What the teacher told Ron was true. "In retrospect," Ron writes, the teacher "was a far wiser man than I appreciated at the time."
When he least expected it, Ron made a great discovery. That discovery brought great joy. Such joy is a continuing possibility for those who open themselves to the kingdom of God.
Dear God, open me fully to your kingdom, so that I may more fully experience your joy. In Jesus name, Amen.
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