I have an interesting and unique life philosophy (at least, I think it’s pretty unique). It can be summed up by “Life goes much better if you’re excited about everything”. In other words, joy is necessary for life.
I started thinking about the whole joy thing as a result of a conversation with my boyfriend’s roommate (does it make me creepy that I talk to my boyfriend’s roommate? I hope not) and he was talking about how he sometimes finds life lame, which I thought was pretty sad. I think life is just about the best thing ever (for a ton of reasons, more on that later) so he really surprised me. So, I started thinking more about joy and I actually ended up learning quite a lot about it, which was pretty sweet.
After looking up a couple of definitions and being annoyed at them (“an unsatisfied desire which is in itself more desirable than its satisfaction” and “cheerfulness or calm delight” — definitely not a fan of that second one, one needs only behold a toddler on a beach to realize that that is completely wack) I settled on a quote — “Happiness is feeling good because of what happens to you, joy is delight coming from within you.” You know, Paul talks about in Romans how he’s found the secret of being content/joyful in every situation…it doesn’t matter what’s around you as long as you have God’s joy in your life.
Going along with that, there’s also the verse in Romans that says “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Like I said before, it doesn’t matter what your outside circumstances are, it just matters that you have joy in God. And you have to make sure it IS in God — Psalm 35:9 says “And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD; it shall exult in His salvation.” This verse doesn’t say that “my soul shall rejoice in my significant other” or “in the things I do” or “in my athletic abilities” or “in my grades” or anything like that. It says “in the LORD” — that’s the important part. And one last verse, before I move on to my next roman numeral (this was originally my speech final…whee): Nehemiah 8:10 — “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” I have to say that I love this verse. It’s definitely one of the more encouraging verses out there. My small point under that verse says that the joy that comes from God gives us strength to face every day in our lives. That is so true! Without the joy that God gives me, I would totally die. I’m having some hard times with my boyfriend at the moment — long-distance relationships are never ideal — and it’s the joy of the LORD that gets me through every day. I’m also reallllly leaning on Him to get through this senior year — I know that I’ve mentioned several times before that I’m just hanging on until I can go off to college. But with His joy, I can have the strength to hang on until that happens.
I decided that I really wanted that kind of joy into my life…so I did a bit of thinking, and a bit of experimenting, and came up with a couple of things that seem to be working so far. Umm…yeah. (It’s hard to take a speech outline and turn it into a journal entry!!) But the hardest thing I ran up against was trying to get it into my head that I am small and God is big. It still hasn’t quite gotten in there correctly, I still act like I’m the biggest thing there is most of the time (which really is a bit of a problem), but at least I’m kind of aware of it. The coolest thing about God being so big is that despite His hugeness, He came and died for us. That’s just cool. Well, not cool…amazing and awesome and unbelievable and………yeah. Speechlessness. It’s pretty amazing.And then my favorite part: be randomly excited about EVERYTHING. And I mean everything. My favorite thing to be excited about is blue sky, it’s so gorgeous especially in the summer…
So, in conclusion, BE JOYFUL!