One joy dispels a hundred cares. Confucius
Joy is not in things; it is in us. Richard Wagner
Joy is the feeling of grinning inside. Melba Colgrove
Most of us prefer joy to gloom, doom and misery. Finding joy is something we want to do and to accomplish. The question is do we really know what it is; do we even know how to look for it; and are we looking for it in the right places:
It is not a rare gem we one day find as we are walking in a field and see it shimmering in the distance. We are not likely to find it on top of the mountain peak we risked life and limb to climb. Nor does achieving success or accumulating wealth automatically provide joy to us as an added bonus or as “buy one get one free”.
Joy is something that manifests itself on the inside. It is not something we find but is more likely a decision or a realization. It is not so much a profound revelation as it is a sense of understanding that floats to the top. It is more like turning on a light than it is receiving a special delivery message revealing its secret. Even though mountain top experiences or very special moments may bring realizations of joy, it is more likely to reveal itself when we least expect it or when we are alone, quiet and introspective.
Joy is happiness, gladness and feelings of well-being. It is a state of mind; similar to having a success attitude or a positive attitude toward life. In many respects they are related. It is not so much something that is achieved as it is a decision to do or be. It often happens as a result of the cumulative effects of wisdom and understanding that comes from life’s experiences. Some of us get this and understand it, while some never seem to get a clue. There is an element of joy that comes from living in the moment, spotting and taking time to smell the roses, and realizing that there is beauty and good all around. It requires focusing on the moment and taking time to see and enjoy. Freedom, patience, and perseverance are integral parts of being joyful. It is difficult to experience joy and be under too much pressure, too big a furry, and always feeling there is way too much on our plate. Being joyful is a decision to be made that comes from within. We find it by looking inside, not outside.
Challenge: Are you ready for some joy in your life? It requires changing attitudes and priorities. It may require shifting gears and cruising at a different speed. With the accelerator always on the floor, you do not have time to experience the things that bring joy. It requires living life at a speed where you can observe, think, understand and enjoy what you see and experience. It is quality over quantity. Slow down and experience the joy.
Wisdom: We should all do what in the long run gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry. E.B. White
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
There is absolutely nothing equivalent to the joy that comes from knowing our eternal future is safe and secure. We can be assured that our future is guaranteed and there is no failure for us to worry about. There can be freedom from fear, doubt, and the pressures of daily living. God wants to bestow his blessings upon us. These are the things that will come to us if we will start listening to and following God’s guidance.
Prayer: Help me to exemplify joy in my life and help me be a good witness and example in doing so.