In keeping with the discussion last week on the concept of joy I have a few more thoughts regarding the subject matter. I have to say thankyou to Mr. McCullough because it is a pursuit often misguided. Joy is often conflicted, compromised and frustrated with ‘happiness.’ Let me clarify that there can be cases where there is nothing wrong with being happy. I admit I have been happy from time to time. Got a new computer recently…happy. When Kansas University gave me my Engineering Degree…happy. When gas drops below $3.00….yea right. But the fact is there are so many things that are demanding our attention, taking me back to Malcolm Muggeridge’s eye-opening discourse about how influencial media is. We are a people who have worn ourselves out even in the minutia of life looking for happiness. There is a drug for every pain and an ointment to fix every wound. We demonstrate our nervousness and anxious desire for happiness in that we are always looking for something ‘to do.’ And when the moment passes, we have to start the process all over again.
Joy is a more noble pursuit. I believe two things have to occur. One principle is that the origin of Joy has to be created from God comes from John Piper’s When I don’t Desire God: How to Fight For Joy which I with what he says that:
When all is said and done, only God can create joy in God. This is why the old saints not only pursued joy but prayed for it: “Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us” (Ps. 90:15). To be satisfied by the beauty of God does not come naturally to sinful people. By nature we get more pleasure from God’s gifts than from himself.
The second is my belief that at some point a person has to grow more life-changingly weary of trying to be happy. The motivation for doing things, reaching for things, cannot end at a feeling of happiness alone. You may reach it but many times you will not and all the while joy is right there saying “I have been there all the time.” How many illicit relationships, vain purchases, emotional achievements, and flippant statements have occurred in the name of the pursuit of happiness. Perhaps there is a better investment portfolio. Perhaps there is something missing.
Along this journey there are moments when the pathway becomes unclear. Fog sets in, perhaps we have set fire to the journey with our own negligence, sin, and misunderstand. Guides and signs we enjoy step away and when they do it reminds us that we were happier about the guide and sign than what the guide and sign were pointing to. Darkness sets in and we are at a disadvantage. instead of maintaining the right pace, we jump off into other things and ask of it something it could never do. When you do not see the conclusion in the pursuit of joy the reminder is right under your nose.
Share your thoughts. click the Leave a Comment below and answer these questionsor share other thoughts.
1What honestly makes you happiest?
2 Do we hava good concept of joy in America? What are the things you feel have been the biggest influence on our society’s perspective of happiness and joy.