Seeing the title of an article saying “don’t fight joy” may seem a little silly, because why in the world would someone fight having joy? I tell myself over and over again that I am a joyful person. Yet the other day I was gently reminded that I wasn’t always being a joyful person. I was reminded by a dear friend that while I was moaning a loss I had incurred, I wasn’t seeing the ninety-nine percent of what I had.
I admit her gentle reminder kind of hurt a little because I knew it was true. Despite my efforts of thinking I was always putting on a “good face” about my one percent of disappointment, that disappointment was the squeaky wheel in my life. I had a way of bringing it up a lot to my friends and despite what I thought was my best effort, my sadness about it was overshadowing the joy in the rest of my life.
I was fighting joy. Joy is not constant happiness. Joy is having contentment with what is in your life at the moment, taking the good with not so good, sad with happy and still being happy. Letting the power of God in your soul take precedence.
Of course we cannot always be constantly cheerful or even joyful. We are humans living in the world filled with evil and hate. It’s going to get a little depressing at times! We are faced with challenges to our joy on a daily, if not hourly, basis! If you aren’t worried about your neighborhood, then there is the city you live in, the political bashing, the hatred people have of other people, the nuclear threat, natural disasters lurking. Are you ready for the ostrich hole? I certainly am!
But living joyfully is what keeps us in the world despite all those fears. I am a really bad worrier — my momma-bear sense is on constant full alert — yet there is a voice inside me that says, “let those worries go!” God has everything in control, and if I would just let Him deal with all my worries and concerns, the joy He gave me would spill out everywhere and help other people’s joy show too.
So my wise friend was trying to remind me that while we need friends to lean on and shoulders to cry on, we need to take heart and remember our joy too. Instead of feeling like she didn’t care, I was blessed with the grace to take her advice into my heart and realize that I was forgetting the ninety-nine percent of happy that was in my life and letting that shine.
I don’t forget the sad things but they cannot and should not rule my life or my attitude. I most admire saints that had really bad things they had to deal with in life, and yet people said you never saw them down or complaining. I want to be like that too. I bet those saints had friends, and especially graces from God, to be that way — and we can too, by stopping to ask for God’s help and by accepting graciously those suggestions from our friends to be happy.
Copyright 2019 Lisa Simmons