Monday, October 6, 2008

Choosing Joy

I am happy today. On a Monday, at that. Driving home for lunch on this sunny-blue-sky autumn day I am content, peaceful. Not that I don’t have problems, mind you. Many things swirl in my head without answers or clear direction. But today it doesn’t seem to matter. Today I am happy.

Maybe it was last night’s good night’s sleep. Or maybe it was the refreshing joy of going to the mountains on Saturday and seeing the fall colors—groves of bright yellow aspen leaves dotting the evergreen covered landscapes. Perhaps it was the new worship CD my friend Tammy gave me that has me smiling today. (It’s called “Counting on God” from New Life Worship and its amazing!)

I have learned that the elusive “happiness” that everyone seeks is not a constant in life. It’s not a state one attains and camps at forever. Life happens. We have triumphs and tragedies, success and sadness. But in between the endless cycle of work, chores and errands, “happiness moments” come—big and small, surreal and tender, and oh so very good.

Happiness comes and goes, but only joy lasts.

No matter what direction the stock market goes, how the economy fares, what happens at work or with your relationships, health and finances, joy can still be present. You may not always feel like smiling. Laughter may not come. But real, deep-seated contentment joy can arise in any circumstance.

A long time ago, the prophet Habakkuk penned these words...

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the
stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:17, 18 (italics mine)

While most of us are not farmers, we could still adapt the same idea for our world today. Though my checkbook is low on funds, though my retirement plan savings fluctuate with world events, though gas is so expensive and many things uncertain….I will be joyful.

I choose Joy.

What will you do?


pjtj said...

Actually Paul just said last night "I remember Helen Rosevere saying that joy is one distinctive of Christianity because of the forgiveness we have in Christ". It is an attribute that we can celebrate and nothing can take away. I think we are going to name our little one's middle name "JOY", though Jackie was at the top of the list, too:)

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Anonymous said...

It is amazing how such a simple act like "choosing" can give us such a sense of peace. A much better approach than constantly struggling aginst what life throws at us.

Great post Jackie! Keep up the good work.