CUP OF JOY OVERFLOWING, Part III
“Fred, why do so few people have joy?” Elegant question!
To answer, I let my mind wander, do some speculation. In today’s world, we seem to base our lives on Feeling, Fact, and then Faith. I conclude emotions make horrible masters but could be wonderful servants. My common-sense observation says people, based on feeling, tend to:
1) Refuse to stop doing what they, knowingly or unknowingly, realize is wrong, and
2) Do not start doing what they, knowingly, realize is right and the very best for themselves.
However, in real life, the basis is Fact, Faith, and then Feeling. Facts become stepping stones to the revelation of God (our experience). When I took the first step, I discovered God alone is All Good, and not a shred of goodness was elsewhere–all good comes from Him. Other things promised goodness, but they were not real and therefore could not bring real joy. I wanted His goodness!
I also discovered we cannot produce our own joy, a fruit growing on a healthy tree. Yet, we can plant ourselves in an orchard of other healthy trees (Christ followers) with rich soil of God’s love to receive His goodness, His “rain.” If we do not do this, we will miss real joy because we lack:
1) Communion with God in His secret garden;
2) Forgiveness from an enslaving habit;
3) Daylight, not finding God’s calm in the midst of suffering; or
4) Love from others.
These are reasons why so few people have joy!
In this healthy-tree orchard, real joy is “an encompassing state of well-being” which produces energetic, confident, lively, positive life. Faith-based on the fact of God’s goodness and love makes this kind of joy possible. It is the hidden life in Christ, just like a root in the ground produces beauty and scent of a rose.
Shall we choose God’s goodness, and love, as our source of joy? St. Peter calls this “unspeakable joy” (I Peter 1:8). It can also become qualifiers for what we should stop doing and what we should start doing.