What sparks or drains joy in you? Ingrid F Lee in her TED Talk, “Where joy hides and how to find it” cites ‘circles’ and ‘curves’ as joy giving shapes, while ‘jaggy edged’ objects have the opposite effect. She asks, if joy is so important to us, why do we surround ourselves with architecture, décor, workspace and things that drain joy? Considering what clutter to hitch, stitch or ditch, Marie Kondo suggests THE deciding question is, “Does it spark joy?” If not, let it go!

What brings you joy?  Witnessing Killie win the Cinch Championship with son & grandson and the awesome cherry blossom of Kerr Drive & Symington Kirk Yard have recently fired joy in me. Sport, food, creativity, singing praises, etc, what sparks joy in you?

What drains your joy? The Dementors ‘scurry, worry, hurry & flurry’, incessant media bad news, personal perfectionist tendencies, negative: people, ideas, memories or self-image, which hang over and follow you like a travelling fog?

an unrealistic ‘no-problem’ mindset that bars sorrow and sadness, and an intense pseudo-spirituality, which sells a constant ‘plastic smile’ JOY, unable to admit or accept that bad things happen to good people. Sadness, Sorrow, and Lament are vital emotions to help us process life’s awful and grim realities. We can deny our pain for a while, but eventually we must work through the grief that loss brings (e.g. loss of: innocence, integrity, loved ones, ability). Bury Sorrow and it’ll easily grow into an emotional monster, which is hard to understand or tame. JOY is the flipside of SORROW, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b) It is the sorrow of relegation that makes Killie’s recent victory all the sweeter and deeper, a window into the ‘solid joys and lasting treasure’ of heaven that Christ has won for us.

The difference between shallow happiness and a deep, sustaining joy is sorrow. Happiness lives where sorrow is not. When sorrow arrives, happiness dies. It can’t stand pain. Joy, on the other hand, rises from sorrow and therefore can withstand all grief. Joy, by the grace of God, is the transfiguration of suffering into endurance, and of endurance into character, and of character into hope–and the hope that has become our joy does not (as happiness must for those who depend up on it) disappoint us.” –Walter Wangerin Jr.

Joy spontaneously comes from inside, while happiness is based on surface circumstances. We are made for ‘something more’ and JOY, a fruit of God’s Spirit, is a daily gift we can receive or reject. Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and your joy may be full.” (John 15:11) and St Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always, I’ll say it again, Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). Finding ourselves inside Jesus’ Big Picture and Purpose of Love, which can reach down into the depths of our pain and sorrow and raise us up to the heights of heaven, encouraging us to practice JOY daily. How deprived we would be without JOY! Seeking JOY is wanting more of JESUS. Jesus first, Yourself last, and Others in-between.

Friends, JOY is both a Gift and a Choice – ENJOY! (literally ‘IN-JOY’)