Someone said, “Joy is in us, waiting to hitch a ride on the first train to go by.”
If that is true, Denton must be a very joyful place!
From my apartment, at all times of the day and night, I love hearing the distant horn of the passing Union Pacific train. It’s far enough away that it doesn’t jolt me, but it’s close enough to remind me that there are other things going on in the world outside my window.
I have never lived in a place that had such regularity in the sounds of movement.
I could almost set my watch to it.
Our theme for December is “Opening to Joy.” To me that means being ready to hop aboard when the joy train comes to town. A sense of anticipation. Waiting at the station with other travelers.
Years ago, when we renovated our bathroom in Wisconsin, we removed the old metal bathtub and installed a “walk-in” shower. I love the walk-in shower because you don’t have to climb over the tub, which can be dangerous as you grow older. But then you can no longer take a bath!
My apartment in Denton has a tub, and just for fun, I ran a bath. And it turns out that I love soaking in the hot water! But I had always heard that taking a bath was wasteful. It uses much more water than a shower. And I worried if I could afford the extravagance of an occasional bathtub experience.
I was told that my water would be billed by the city directly. And so, I waited. When no bill came after a few months, I called the city. They said that when new pipes get attached to new buildings it takes a while to register the water meters, so please be patient. And then another month passed, with no bill. I began to fret.
But the joyfulness of the soak outweighed any financial concerns, and I continued to run the bath. I started spending more and more time in hot water, to really get my money’s worth.
I finally got my water bill, and I was thrilled to find it reasonable. I felt a moment of joy when the heaviness of waiting had ended, and uncertainty yielded to relief.
Then I realized that the real flow of joy was when I filled the tub with anticipation. When I opened the valve and turned on the faucet to a new experience.
What are you waiting for?