J is for Joy of the Journey
Years ago, I was Lay Director on an Emmaus Walk here in Alabama. The Lay Director gets to pick a theme (loosely) and the theme I chose was “Discover the Joy of the Journey.”
Let me ask you a question. What do you think the difference is between joy and happiness?
To me, happiness is fleeting – it can come and go. Joy, on the other hand, is deep inside each of us. Joy is a part of who we are. When bad things happen, we might not be happy but there can still be a deep joy within us. I almost feel like joy is internal and happiness is external.
If you haven’t figured it out from some of my previous posts – I am a Christian. I live in the Bible belt, so it is the norm to go to church – even today in 2022. I’m not saying that EVERYONE goes to church, but it is not unusual for people to go to church. Over the years there have been some scriptures that I love, and one of these scriptures is about the fruit of the Spirit (just FYI – it is not fruits (there is no s) of the Spirit. I have memorized a few verses of scripture over the years, and this is one of those that I have memorized. This scripture is found in Galatians 5:22-23
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Some translations use goodness instead of generosity.)
My journey has been crazy at times. My mom died when I was in high school. My dad died when I was 25. I was married at 18 and divorced 18 months later because my ex realized he was gay. He has since died of AIDS. There were times back then when it was hard to find the joy. My joy was almost buried too deep but every single time someone reached out a hand to help me. I might not have felt that joy immediately and I definitely didn’t feel happy, but God has always come through. Also, I think hind sight is pretty amazing and when I look back toward the young me, from age 63, I can see joy woven like one golden thread through a tapestry. My journey has not always been easy, but there has always been joy.
What about you? Where do you discover the joy of your journey?
p.s. This is not the post I intended to write for today but this is what my fingers typed 😊