What brings you joy?

Year 5 students in Chapel
Andy Fleming
Andy Fleming

By Andy Fleming, Associate Chaplain

It is often the simplest things that can bring joy to people. Each time restrictions have been lifted, many of us are, no doubt, reconnecting with these things. I must admit I found joy walking around Bunnings last weekend not having to wear a mask. Sport and physical activity is another thing that brings me joy, and while the teams I support have not done so well over the last couple of weeks, and the recent rain has hindered our ability to get outdoors, it is fantastic just knowing that sports such as cricket can once again be played.

During Chapels this cycle, we have enjoyed hearing Wiradjuri elder Uncle Johnny Huckle play for students. This is the second time Uncle Johnny has played in Chapel this year. Through sharing stories and his music, Uncle Johnny has shown students that joy can be found, not only in the things we enjoy, but also in overcoming challenges that we experience.

The joy found in overcoming our challenges and obstacles is most valuable and provides us with strength. The prophet Nehemiah wrote, “Continually find in the blessings you have and share your joy with others, for this day is holy to our Lord; There is no need to feel pressure and stress, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Uncle Johnny playing during Year 10 Chapel
Uncle Johnny playing during Year 10 Chapel

Of course. there are times where we find joy in finishing a task that may have been hanging over our head. Perhaps it is organising a project that was bigger than first envisaged or completing a challenging university assignment. However, there are also times when we can share our joy with others as members of a team or group that succeeds when this appeared unlikely. Whatever the circumstances, we can depend on the strength provided by God through our faith, and so we can let go of the pressures and enjoy the process. It is this joy that we can share with others.

A Prayer for joy during times of adversity.

Loving Father,
as long as I am on this earth, I know adversities will come my way.
But I ask that You help me to rest in You. I know that You are in control.
Help me to have that joy and peace in my life so I will be able to smile through any storm confident that I will come out stronger for it.
Help me not to look at my adversities but to look directly at You.

May you find peace in your week ahead,

Chaplain Andy

Photo at top: Students have been looking at Advent themes on peace, hope, joy and love. Year 5 have displayed their reflections in the Chapel.