In a poem written by Mary Baker Eddy, titled “Christ My Refuge,” is the verse:
From tired joy and grief afar,
And nearer Thee, — Father,
where Thine own children are, I love to be.
The words “tired joy,” jumped off the page to me recently when singing this poem as a hymn in a Christian Science church service. What do they mean, I pondered?
I thought back to my time farming before I went into the full-time practice of Christian Science.
Farming had its joys. Planting trees and seeds, caring for trees and plants, and harvesting a bountiful crop are rewarding experiences that a farmer looks forward to going through year after year. We had some good years, and we had some tough years. But I was also learning about the higher things of Spirit during this time, which brought me infinitely greater joy to think on and live out than any number of bins of apples harvested.
As my love of God grew, my interest in growing apples diminished.
The need to commit a large amount of mental time to planning the crop year, caring for fields, weeding, fertilizing, supporting the employees, and organizing a harvest started to feel burdensome, like they were getting in the way of experiencing the incredibly greater joys of growing spiritually, and helping and healing my neighbors with my understanding of God. Farming became a “tired joy.”
I eventually left farming for the greater joys of Spirit, and that feeling of growing burden I had been struggling with, vanished too. There was no more “tiredness” in my life. There was a fresh expansive joy that took over from devoting my energies to God and living true to my spiritual life.
Are you suffering from any “tired joys?” Is it time to move on, to move on up to the higher joys of Spirit?
Real joy never leaves a feeling of tiredness in our being, but of buoyancy, delight, and soaring inspiration.
Go for the best. Don’t settle for tired joys. Move on up to Spirit-joy, which brings out the happiest and healthiest you.