What is true Joy? What does it look like? How does it feel? For me Joy is something that results from a sense of hope and peace. As a simple example think of a the Joy a parent feels when an infant or toddler settles down and falls asleep…before that moment the home was busy with the child eating and having play time. Depending on the age, the child may have been moving around from place to place in the home finding many things it should not be getting into…so when the moment comes at the end of a day and a child has fallen asleep there is a sense of peace. As you look at the child sleeping peacefully you may begin to think about the future and what may come…that would be hope…hope for a better tomorrow, hope for what they will become. The combination of this hope and peace result in Joy.
I use this example because in my experience there usually is more Joy in the world when little children are around…why? Because there is hope for the future and often, not always, the adults nearby are less concerned about other things and they may be more at peace. Now I understand that this is not always the case around young children and when there is not Joy it is on the adults to choose the attitude that creates Joy or they can choose the attitude that creates stress.
So how do we find hope and peace to create more Joy? Let’s start with hope…hope is about goals and dreams. What are your goals? What are your dreams? If you are not sure or you haven’t thought about it much, take some time to identify them. Author John C Maxwell writes in his book “Developing the Leaders Around You” to fill in the blanks on 2 statements to help identify your dream…
If I had _________________, I would ________________.
The idea is if you had unlimited resources (such as time, money, etc) that you would pursue your dream. After you figure out what your dream is pray about it. If you know your dreams then offer them up to God and be open to God telling you he has a different goal or dream in mind for you…don’t worry it won’t be something you don’t enjoy…he made you, specifically for his plan for your life so you will like it if you let him lead you.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
The peace that leads to Joy comes directly from trusting that God is in control and no matter what happens in the end he his holding you and if you let him, he will lead you to places you never thought possible. For me 2-3 years ago a thought about writing a blog about my faith…huh yeah right…yet here I am. It is not perfect and it doesn’t have thousands of followers but if every post can impact just one person then I have done something he wants me to do. I pray more of us will choose hope and peace and that we all will choose to experience more Joy. Amen.