I visited my parents over the weekend, and they took me to a concert at the Bechtel Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, NC. A quartet played jazz settings of “Little Drummer Boy,” “Greensleeves” and other holiday songs. As they began a rendition of “Joy to the World,” it struck me that one gift of complex music is that it takes your brain places it almost certainly wouldn’t go on its own.
As the pianist improvised on the familiar melody, I mused that joy appears in our lives in many ways, some of which are familiar, but many of which are unexpected. The word seems particularly apt for Christmas, for that is what Christ brought: Joy to the world. Not happiness, but joy.
The music twisted, turned and lilted in fun and surprising directions, returning to the familiar theme. I wondered what I needed to change in the way I approach the coming weeks to focus on joy. I thought of a few things. Can you?