In 2019, I was a chaperone for the fall Youth of Unity (Y.O.U.) rally. I have attended rallies before; however, this one seemed different. There were many challenging issues with the grounds (so I thought), the parking, older cabins, the long walks to the common area, and limited Internet service. I felt somewhat stressed and distracted by these issues.
While on an early morning walk in the forest, I was. lamenting about all the many things I didn’t like about the experience of being there. I went on and on in my head about what was wrong rather than what was right. Then, as I turned the corner to return to the cabin, my foot touched something. I looked down and spotted an oddly shaped stone. I picked up the stone and noticed a hand-drawn picture of the forest; instinctively, I turned. the stone over and read the words
“Always choose Joy.”
At that moment, my energy shifted. The message for me was to see the gift, and be present in the moment. The hand-painted message reminded me that I should always choose to joy no matter the circumstance, the challenge, or perception. Well, the weekend got better. I was assigned to an “energetic and fabulous family.” We had a great time together. The energy was positive and uplifting. What began as a challenge ended as an opportunity for me to grow spiritually to see through the lens of gratitude and to know that every situation is designed for my greatest good.
The 2019 Y.O.U Rally was an experience that I will treasure forever. My family journal, the bracelet, the Spirit-filled Service, and the Dance. I left the rally affirming that I would “Live from the Inside -Out” and Always choose Joy.
B.T.W., I no longer have the stone I re-gifted to someone to add to their collection.
Remember in all situations, let your default be Joy!
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.