Joy is not found in things, buy rather joy is found “in” us. I have seen so many folks struggle to find just the right gift for just the right person, because they want them to be happy, joyful. The cruel joke is that many of us never really take the time to discover what it is that makes us happy.
“What do you want for Christmas?” I’ve asked everyone of my grandchildren this question. You would not believe the answers that I’ve gotten. And what I know is that none of it will bring any kind of lasting joy.
It will take a lifetime to learn what makes us happy!
I watched last night while people stumbled through Walmart looking for something — anything, picking stuff up, getting this or that, “Oh, this will do.” Settling for something that they don’t even like.
Pleasure is never found in the thing. It is fleeting! Once it has created the emotion of “pleasure” then something else is needed to raise that emotion to even a higher level of feeling. And so the need for something bigger, better, etc. increases with each prize.
So, we eat more, (drink) more, lose more, play more, then eventually pleasure seems impossible to buy or acquire. And it is! We simply don’t have the ability to buy it.
Joy, if we are willing to look deep into our souls is an awareness of what it means to live well, to live contributing to others, to be self-giving, simply, or to say it a bit differently, to live other-centered.
This year I have gotten mesmerized by these words from the Christmas story, “I am bringing you good news of great joy….” (Luke 2:10)
Good news of great joy is what Christmas is all about. No more and no less!
“ … for all people: to you is born this day … a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
I have spent the last few days asking myself, “what does that really mean to me today? Right now in December 2019, what does this good news of great joy do to me, through me?”
“How does it change me?”
“How is it affecting my daily life?”
“Am I living out of this Great News?”
This Child, this King, who is “for all people,” not just the ones that you or I think He should be “for.”
“A Savior… the Lord.”
A Child is born, to live and to reveal the will of God to all people.
He is born to make known the God who is love. He doesn’t just have it, HE IS LOVE. Not a human love that seeks to find a gift to may us happy. But to “be” the gift of Love that is the source of Joy.
Joy, happiness is found not in “things” but rather in the relationship with the One who makes all things work together for our good.
Joy is found not in the things, but in being reunited with the One who Loves us. Risk giving yourself and not things. Risk being alive to bring joy to those you love not with things but with “ you time, your attention, your comfort.” Let’s stop pretending we can find “anything” that will take the place of giving ourselves to those whom we love.
“I’m bringing you good news of great joy….” Christ has come to you today!!!
Happy Advent season on this week of Joy!