Man, we can get wrapped up in everything we want “to do” in the world!  And we can sure give the world “out there” a lot of our attention and energy!

Now, not that there is anything wrong with trying to make a positive impact with our career, our calling, our actions…..but one thing we should never forget is what is most important….and that one thing is to experience joy during this life.

Now, our actions in the world can certainly bring us joy…..I know that mine do……but when I think about the things that bring me the most joy, it is those wonderful loving relationships I have in my life.  It is important that I remember to cultivate and grow those relationships and never let them wither because of my “to do” list.

I was thinking about this recently as my wife, Mary, has been out of town attending a conference.  The first couple of days are always really nice….I have the house to myself, I’m “batchin’ it….I can do what I want without considering her needs, I can immerse myself in meeting “my needs”, getting things I want done, ordering pizza if I want it……but then after a couple of days of that, I start wanting her back home….I begin to realize that what truly brings me joy is her being around, our interactions, our time together doing anything big or small.

This week, on back to back days, I attended a couple of functions that underscored the importance of relationships.  One day I attended a luncheon with fellow retirees from the Federal government that I had worked with…..I had a career of over 30 years with the “feds” and spent a lot of time with these folks….it was great to see them and catch up what everyone was doing.  The next day, I attended a memorial service for a ministerial friend of mine who had recently died…..and there I got to engage with a lot of my fellow ministerial colleagues, a post-government role that I have been in for over 10 years.

Now, I can get wrapped up in things… ministerial commitments with Centers for Spiritual Living….my writings and teachings such as this website….my social activism that has taken a number of forms over the past couple of years…..and more…..I always seem to maintain an extensive “to do” list of items that can always fill my time…..

Yet this week has been a great reminder that life is precious.  We never know how much time we will be here on this planet.  We need to always make sure that we build in time for the things that are really important.

For me, that is my key personal relationships… wife, my grown kids, my grandkids, my other extended family, my friends….

Yes, as a spiritual evolutionary, I want to develop and grow myself in my spiritual connectedness to oneness…..and I want to serve as a spiritual change agent out there making this place more and more closer to the ideal of a world that works for all…..but I should never forget to stop and fill my life with JOY and LOVE.  As one of my spiritual teachers reminded me recently, “the road to spirituality is joy”.

Are you making time for joy?  Who do you need to connect with?  What’s keeping you?

Mark Gilbert


If you have read this far, why don’t you check out my other writings? Here are all my 4 books available on Amazon including the popular Becoming a Spiritual Change Agent and Our Spiritual Evolution (available in paperback and Kindle versions). Also, be sure to follow Conscious Bridge on Twitter and Facebook!

This picture is from a recent family vacation in Jamaica!