Joy … Anyway by Kathy Thomas

Joy, anyway. Powerful words. More than that, they are empowering words. For the last few years, Joy seems to have been somewhat elusive in this world. Have we not all been through at least two years of Covid, family and health issues, and weather that is out of the ordinary?

It is so easy to become sorrowful or cynical when we feel like we are merely the gravel on the road of life. Grist for the mill. Who cares?  Maybe what we have been missing all along is simply: Joy.

Life is a hard road to travel, I believe. Who among us has not felt pain, sorrow, or disappointment?  Our greatest ally in overcoming the pitfalls of life is to remember that Joy is more powerful than any negativity.  Light always defeats the darkness.

Life in general can be overwhelmingly complicated, but Joy is simple. Joy is about how we focus our lives despite our personal circumstances. Joy does not depend on what happens next. Joy is a light, a beacon within us. It is actually an amazing freedom that resides in our souls.

No one can take this from us. We can shape our own thoughts and strive to find all that is positive and good in life. It is up to us. Contentment is priceless. Joy is a reward in itself.

It seems that we are always waiting for something. We wait for the weekend; we wait for life to improve, always waiting for happiness. We do not have to wait for Joy to show up; it is already in us. It can refresh a weary soul like a fountain of youth.

It is only human to often feel joy and grief at the same time. This leads to healing and being realistic about our struggles. The joy part makes sorrow easier to cope with over time. Joy is the presence of God.

We can all find Joy in the ordinary. It is within each of us. Remember that we are capable of finding Joy, even in the smallest of daily events.  The sun really does shine for us all.  The touch of an errant breeze caressing our cheek, or an unexpected patch of blue in a cloudy sky can bring delight. The morning Joy of rising up anew on each new day is ours alone.

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Joy just seems easier to come by in the summer. There is truly so much beauty and magic all around us. Sunlight is joyful. It is the most precious gold on earth.  Joy is found in the flowers, the whisper of a misty summer rain, sensual sultry evenings heavy with the perfume of grasses, roses and lilacs can transform our sense of being. Idle time spent sitting on the back porch and reverently dwelling on the mystery of the stars, is never time wasted.

Joy…anyway. It sounds way too easy. Not enough effort, when feeling down, is where we sometimes really want to be. Yes, it is a choice, but it is there for everyone.

Emily Dickinson has said, “The mere sense of living is Joy enough.”

We have the power within us to choose the peace and Joy of God.

Mother Teresa has said, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one come to you without leaving happier.”  I would make a small change here, and change love to Joy.

Joy multiplies when shared by friends. It only takes a spark to get a fire going….

Sometimes, the best sermons are often not preached!

And in closing: may we remember with fondness and love, our dear sisters, Elizabeth Jeffrey and Susan Gibbon who left us way too soon. Their lives and memories will always be a blessing. It was a privilege to know them and call them “sisters”. Their parting left us sorrowful, but the afterglow of knowing them and having walked with them through the shadows, will ensure that they shall remain in our hearts with joy. Joy truly is the presence of God.

From Romans 12:15
“Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep”,

and from Romans 15:13
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 

June, 2023