Monday, April 14, 2014

Pure Joy

It' been a long, hard winter. I haven't seen a lot of rip-roaring joy in quite some time. I must admit that there have been all too many days in my own life when I  felt as though there wasn't much to smile about.. But I don't  think I have been 'trapped' by a real solid 'downer' in quite some time.
I got to thinking about the meaning of joy the other day.  What it is. Why don't we feel joy all the
time?  Why does inner joy happen more often? More predictably?

I was going through a lot of old pictures the other day, basking in good memories (and a few challenging ones) and I ran across the one above.  It's been one of my favorites over the years, in part because it exudes joy at its highest.  It happened in the 1970's when I was still working at McDonnell Aircraft. Every year the company would sponsor Christmas parties for children involved in foster homes or less privileged children  sponsored by groups like the Salvation Army. This little girl was among several who were guests of our training department. I was not at my best that afternoon -  I was struggling with a migraine headache.  It was a miserable one but it didn't stop me from letting this girl try out an aircraft flight control training device.  When she moved the simulator control stick she got all kinds of aileron, rudder, and stabilator movement. The picture illustrates her moment of absolute joy when the surfaces started flapping. Then I wondered - what about the next day? Or the next week or month? Did she have downers  like many of us might have?

I am reminded of some words from Psalm 30 -  "....give thanks to His holy name, for His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime.  Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes  in he morning..."

I believe that life is filled with dark and hurtful moments. However, there are also moments that are bright and positive. Things do not always go the way we wish they would. We have moments when we experience frustration and disappointment at work.  But it seldom lasts - something good may happen the next day.  That may be in the form of a new job, or some  other positive change.  I know what that is like - downers followed by positive surprises.  It happens  in families - disagreements - hurts but there is joy when problems are resolved. It is wonderful when bad times pass away and we realize that life may have tough events but even then our faith is rewarded.

Like an old hymn says......."....And the night is as black as the sea, oh yes; There will be peace in the valley for  me some day; There will be peace in the valley, Oh Lord I pray; There'll be no sadness, no sorrow, no trouble I see, there will b peace (and joy) in the valley for me..."

And you!