The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

Canon's Corner: Joy Slayer or Joy Carrier

Occasional offerings from the Canons of the Cathedral

Joy Slayer or Joy Carrier: Which one are you?

Being a joy maker or a joy slayer can become a lifestyle: a way of being. Which are you?

Recall a time when joy was abounding and you were a participant in this acknowledgement of joy-making. Or, if you were not an active participant in the joy-making, recall the pleasure that was brought to you through observation. Recall the presence of those around you who were sharing in this joy. Or not. In either case, you, in that circumstance, were either a joy carrier or a joy slayer.

In our effort to be in control, some of us appear to be even-tempered and display sound thinking. We are controlled in our responses to circumstances that touch us either directly or indirectly. Others of us are reactive to life's circumstances and are carriers of something that represses the possibility of joy. This repression of joy, in one's outlook on life, distances us from the possibilities of seeing and capturing new life.

When the possibilities of new life are encouraged and nurtured, the joy carriers' presence affects all, one way or another. Our releases and measures of joy are mediated by us and our view of seeing life and living it to the fullest.

On the other hand, when those around us are joyous and we do not share in that joy, we become joy slayers. The decision to live as a joy slayer can become a way of life, as well. If our joy slaying is shared on a consistent basis, imagine the effect.

At one time or another all of us sit in either house: the house of joy slayers or the house of joy carriers. We are given an opportunity over and over again, by God, to determine the direction in which we will extend our wishes for and to others, either with joy or without it.

The good news is the joy slayers and the joy carriers are all loved and nurtured by God. For followers of the new light, which was given to us at Easter through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are moving toward new life. Moving toward new life brings opportunity as we continue to celebrate the Great Fifty Days of Easter. Let us all consider being joy carriers, in the good times and in the not so good times, and trust that the new light of Christ is sustaining us all.

"So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith." Galatians 6:10

The Reverend Carolynne G. Williams
Canon for Pastoral Care and Elder Ministry