Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Now we can talk about joy..

Joy...  three small letters with such a big meaning behind them.

Now that we have defined happy in our previous discussions, we can talk about joy.  What?  You haven't read about happy yet?  Rather than fear "happiness" like the stoics of old, I'd like to entertain the idea that genuine happiness does have a place in our lives.  It has the same place as chocolate.  It makes for a great dessert--but a lousy meal.

Joy, on the other hand, makes for a great meal.  In fact, one could survive for days on end without chocolate and still survive nutritionally  (albeit grimly). But hardly a soul could survive on chocolate and nothing else.

That's just the problem.  Our society feeds on chocolate.  We make "happiness" all there is in this life.  Pretty clothing, shallow but pleasurable relationships, expensive homes, high powered cars, entertaining games, decadent food, and aesthetic experience are what fuels our society.  It fuels our economy, our advertising, and claims to fuel the very necessities of our souls.

Ah.. but just like intake of sugar makes us hungrier than if we had never eaten anything, so do filling our lives with these "joy imposters" make us crave more of the same.  It's a very vicious cycle--not to mention--a very expensive one.

So, then what is this thing-- this non-chocolate thing-- that you call joy??

Well, I would first ascertain that I would find it impossible to find without knowing God.  In a sense, trying to find joy without finding God is like trying to find a nutritious meal in a candy shop.

So, are you saying that everyone who knows God has joy?  Because I know plenty of so-called Christians who are so lacking in joy.. so miserable...

Let me say this.  I have observed that it is (sadly) a rare thing to find a truly joyful human being.  In my lifetime, I have met about a dozen or so.  And it is even rarer to find a joyful woman.  What I mean is that someone who consistently lives in a state of joy. And I'm not trying to be critical.  I'm trying to be discerning about this.  So rather than list "what you have to do" to "get it", I think I'd like to make some observations of the few people I do know who seem to have a degree of joy in their lives.

And I'll give you time to think about the people you know.  Who has the joy of the Lord?  What is it that makes them that way?  And we'll discuss this a little more in the next post.


The dB family said...

This is good. Very good! Keep it coming. I do know this, but it's always good to be reminded again.


Mrs. Parunak said...

Oooh, a cliff-hanger! I'm looking forward to your next installment!