Monday, October 15, 2012

What Brings Lasting Joy?

Glorious morning sunshine plays off the rich autumn hues of mums and crab apple-tree leaves. I hum an "I'm so blessed" tune between sips of my rich strong coffee. Malcom Muggeridge's words pierce my mind causing me to pause, consider, and take in inspiration and challenge. Breakfast is over, and so the day has begun with laundry and dusting and washing and rinsing and preparing for meals to come and with planning the events of the week. At moments I pause to the ring of a text or the sound of an email on my iPhone. I chat a moment and rejoice in the warm fellowship of friends and family. The day continues, and I ponder what brings me the most joy... is it the momentary thrill that comes from good conversation? Or when I make a purchase of a new item? Is it the delight of sipping fantastic coffee or sampling my latest dessert? Is it getting my house warm and cozy and clean? Is it getting a compliment or word of affirmation from a friend? Is it planning the next vacation? So many things in life can bring a measure of joy, but none of these bring lasting unfettered joy. None bring the kind of joy that fills every fiber of your being and doesn't fade away. The only thing that brings that kind of joy is when I give to others in the name of and because of my relationship with Jesus. This alone brings me true joy.
Giving to others this way, with absolutely no strings attached, with no ulterior motive, just simply because Jesus set the example and I trust Him and I love the beauty of His life and I want His beauty to shine through me--that brings me lasting joy.
This whole giving thing is not natural--to me at least, not the giving with no expectations attached.
However, I am convinced that my Maker knows what will make me the happiest, and Jesus gave me a living example. Now it's up to me to follow His example.
May you too find this kind of joy.
Happy Monday!