“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!  Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy,..” –Psalm 43:3-4

I love jet lag!  It’s the only time in my life where my entire being naturally springs to life at God-awesome hours of the morning, giving me the time of day in rich abundance.

I annually look forward to the season of jet lag.  It lasts but a couple of weeks and usually hits upon my return to Taiwan from the states.

Last night my “night owl” perched early and was then up again, chirping vivaciously, by 5 a.m.  I decided it was the perfect time to take the inaugural cruise on my “new” scooter, so I grabbed a rice cake, a milk tea, and some hard-boiled quail eggs, and I headed up the hill, to a favorite look out, to watch the bright morning rise.

I didn’t yet know of the tragic massacre in Colorado.  News travels slow to Taiwan…when you don’t check Facebook.

This morning, as we puzzle over a senseless world, where the dark night is ever rising, I find myself strangely, deeply, even fiercely reassured by a definite, undaunted sense of joy.

To express joy in the aftermath of carnage appears dangerously close to a psychological disorder, and seemingly threatens to undermine sympathy for grieving neighbors.

Ironically, “jet lag” is also considered a (physiological—sleeping) disorder.  And yet, it’s precisely the culprit that breathed vivacious life into my travel-weary bones this morning; and it’s the “out-of-tune” circadian rhythm that pulsed through my veins as I smiled all the way up the mountain, cruising on my “new” scooter.

I’m beginning to think the real disorder is when “jet lag” wears off!  The real disorder is when I “can’t” get out of bed in the morning.  The real disorder is when we can’t find joy in the midst of pain; when tragedy leaves us groping in the dark, void of a rationale big enough to honestly comfort us.

This morning, as the dark night rises, I sit here with you, feeling sorrow & sadness; laboriously asking the Perfect Heavenly Father to comfort those who mourn; yet consciously aware that suffering wasn’t born yesterday in Aurora, nor will it sleep peacefully through the night as we escape to the next midnight showing of blockbuster entertainment.

That we live in a fallen, sinful world, at least for the moment, will not be debated.  Yet, in the darkness glows the light & the truth of the gospel (Jesus) which beckons each of us to arise early, with all of our disorders, hop on our scooter, and ascend His holy hill; for it’s here, now, in the thick of life, bullets, blood, and pain, that we find God, our exceeding joy.



  1. “To express joy in the aftermath of carnage appears dangerously close to a psychological disorder, and seemingly threatens to undermine sympathy for grieving neighbors.”

    Frustratingly, I am not skilled enough with words to express my thoughts on this with clarity, but in some subtle way I sense that genuine joy is somewhat different than happiness. Happiness seems to be circumstantially dependent, while joy seems to be more related to our state of being. My own rare experiences of divine joy have existed in moments of interior stillness when everything within me seemed rightly ordered, when my conscience was unburdened, and when I, if ever briefly, completely yielded my will to God.

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