Thursday Thoughts on Finding Joy In The Journey
I’m sitting in a student lounge at a local university and there is a sign above an office door that says, Find Joy In Your Journey. Good advice. It reminds of another quote I saw years ago that said, Marriage is not the end of a search. It is the beginning of a journey. I liked that quote so much I had a lady write it for me (she could do calligraphy) and I framed it and gave it to Bill the first Christmas after we were married.
It sounds easy, wrapped up nice and neat in a sentence and put on a sign for all the world to see, but some folks spend their whole lives searching and never find it. Here’s my take on why they don’t. When I was a little girl my Grandma Layne taught me a game. She called it finding the thimble. I had to cover my eyes (no peeping) while she hid her sewing thimble somewhere in the room. Then when she was ready I got to search for it. If I got close she would say “You are getting warm,” and if I was searching in the wrong place she would say “You are getting cold.” When I was almost right on top of it she’d yell, “You’re hot!”
When it comes to looking for joy there are a whole lot of people who are at the North Pole, so far away from the real source of joy that they are about to freeze. They think joy comes from instant gratification and they try one thing after another to experience a momentary spurt of happiness. Drugs, sex, alcohol, tobacco, whatever. If it feels good it must make me happy. Right?
A few years ago a man I’d known for years was killed while making meth in his bathroom. He left behind three sons who were good friends with my boys. The oldest son was a senior in high school then. If the man who died could live his life over do you think he would trade the high he got from meth for watching his sons graduate from high school, or other special moments in their lives? I know he wouldn’t, but he won’t get the chance because he was looking for joy in the wrong places.
Real joy isn’t an instant high or a rush of emotion. It’s an inner peace that provides calm and security in the midst of life’s darkest storms. If you haven’t found your joy or if you had it once and want it back, may I suggest you start with prayer. Ask God to help you find it and then find a nice quiet place to read your Bible, study, pray and spend some time alone searching your soul. The answer is there. The joy is free and available to all. You can find it, but first you have to know where to look.
Go find a Bible and as Grandma Layne would say, “You are getting hot!”