The joy of the birds and the fish from the fifth day of creation was customized. A mocking bird does not sound at all like a cardinal. The joy of the salmon in fighting her way upstream through the rapids is quite different from the joy of a whale breaching.
Aligning with another person’s joy is a basic life skill. On the level of simple courtesy, when I meet new people in their city, I am alert to find out what brings them joy.
When I was with Beau, it was his supernatural corn crop. If I ever go see Pamela’s place, she will want to show me her passion fruit vines. Ron has a fish pond. Jerry has an antique car he is restoring.
Typical social interaction involves sequential sharing of each other’s joys in search of a mutual joy point. I humored Jerry by looking at his car and listening to his joy. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t my thing. I can go whole decades at a time without thinking about the joy of sanding rust off a 75 year old fender.
However, his backyard had some fascinating dynamics and I found great joy sitting in the patio, sensing the spiritual flow of the land. It brought me joy. Fortunately, he enjoyed his patio too, as he likes to sit there and watch the red tailed hawk that celebrates the land dynamics from the air.
So we settled into his patio chairs with our joys aligned.
If only it was always that easy.
While aligning with someone else’s joy is not always easy, it is part of the fabric of life and has a thousand different faces.
Any counselor learns to synchronize with the emotions of their client at the front end of each session. In an ideal situation, by the end of the session, the client is able to synchronize with the joy that the counselor has in their progress. When a wounded person can emerge far enough from their pain to briefly synchronize with someone else’s joy, it is a big thing.
In the performing arts, being on the stage with only your emotions is grueling. But when the audience aligns with the joy of the performer or preacher, it brings out something larger in him which in turn invites a larger joy from the audience. THIS is what they live for – joy aligned in community.
On a more crass level, the advertising industry consistently crafts pictures of joy (often imaginary) and invites us to synchronize with their joy by buying a product.
Con artists align with your need or your joy in order to then bring you into alignment with their objectives.
Those who seduce children or adults start with synchronizing to the victim’s joy, then shift the agenda to their own twisted gratification.
So aligning your joy to someone else’s joy runs the entire circle from basic courtesy to high energy empowerment to toxic control.
At the end of the day, Givers have a reputation of aligning with other people’s emotions the least of any of the tribes. I pondered that long and hard. Is this reality or perception? Many accidental brands are simply outdated labels which got stuck on them somewhere in time and stayed even after things changed.
After exploring Giver people, institutions, cities and nations, I am very much of the opinion that this is true, but that there is a backstory.
Consider Job, the Giver. The only clue we have of his emotional worldview before the debacle is that he had a fear based relationship with his kids. His continual sacrifices were based on concern over their potential lack of holiness, rather than his excitement over the depth and breadth of their spiritual vitality.
And the concern (in any area) over what might go wrong so often trumps the capacity of the Giver to celebrate what is right and what could become even better.
Hence, the tendency among many Givers to become a trifle morose.
With Job, once the debacle hit he was beyond morose, quite understandably. No one would expect him to remain joyful in the face of that level of demonic assault. His grief, fear, pain and sense of abandonment were utterly legitimate, being rooted in disaster upon disaster.
However, I find it quite interesting that when God engaged with Job, God did not synchronize with Job’s pain. Rather, there was a clarion call for Job to synchronize with God’s emotions.
Central to God’s emotions of joy, that day, was the immensity of creation. He had a blast reviewing the nuances of the creation from constellations to ostrich eggs.
On the one hand, God was undeniably pounding Job’s religious spirit theology into a quadrillion little splinters, never to be reassembled.
On another level, God was teaching him the power of awe.
But running in the background was God’s joy and the joy of the angelic hosts (Job 38:7) as He unfolded each new facet of creation. God was inviting Job to align with His joy.
For sure, Job got the first two messages. Whether He heard the third nuance in the thunder of the first two, we don’t know.
But I find it interesting that in the furniture of the Tabernacle, the Altar of Incense is the item that parallels the Giver tribe.
And there, for sure, there is no question of alignment to humans. The mood of the nation, or the worshipers outside, or the solitary priest offering incense was irrelevant. This was a time for the priest to align himself with God’s nature and celebrate who He is.
We talk a lot about the fear of man vs. the fear of the Lord.
What if there is a parallel here? What if the reason the Giver tribe is a bit less inclined to align themselves with the emotions of others, is because God designed them to align with His joy most of all.
Join me in calling forth that treasure of design from the Giver tribe.
Copyright May 2016 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub