I ponder the topic as I prepare the lesson this week's version of adult version "Sunday School" at church. That topic is "joy".....
So often we sit and think about such things as:
"When I retire, I can finally find peace!"
"I will be so happy if I get that new job!"
"I will be happy once I finish school!"
"If only I could find the perfect partner. I could finally live my life!"
It could be a derivative of any of those things or anything really. There's a major problem with statements such as these. That problem is that we are under the assumption that a source outside of ourselves is responsible for our joy. We sit in the expectation that once an outer event FINALLY occurs, we can experience true joy and true happiness.
It's not about that however. It's all about YOU and what is inside of you. You and you alone are responsible for your joy. I know many times it feels easier said than done. I know it's difficult to sit there after a job loss and loudly proclaim, "I FEEL JOY!! WHOOO-HOOO!"
Ideally, the paths we experience in life take us from Point A to Point B without any hindrance. We arrive at the destination completely unscathed. Yet, would we have learned anything? What if that path isn't so straight? What if we experience crossroads, flat tires and other challenges along the way? What if, just what if you actually learn to trust yourself and the process? What if that flat tire allows you to actually exit the comfortable confines of your vehicle, forcing you to pay attention to the sounds of nature that would otherwise be muted by the sounds of your car engine? What if that beautiful landscape provides the artist with the perfect blend of colors she will use to create a beautiful painting?
Our perspective can bring us joy or it can bring us something less but is that what you really want? Is it really worth living a life of "when" or "if only"?
That joy is within you right now. Choose to take it. Choose to grab it by force because it's yours and nothing or no one can take that joy from you. It's yours.