Lately, the internet has been ripe with Mari Kondo references on what things in life are sparking joy or not.
As I’m sitting here eating Talenti Roman Rasberry gelato I feel that this icy treat is currently bringing me joy as I marathon season 5 of Elementary. (Johnny Miller as Sherlock is just superb).
I know that there are a number of various ways to spend my day off from work. I could be writing, drawing, or thinking creatively about something, and maybe I will, the day is still young, but I realize that taking things slow can be a huge motivator for joy. Joy, unlike happiness, does not rely on circumstances. Joy is a resonation within of knowing that outside situations or circumstances do not determine my all-around feeling of elation or joy.
For me, personally, my joy comes from God, His Sweet Spirit, Jesus, and knowing that I have the gift of joy in all circumstances, situations, and moments.
Sometimes the search for joy or happiness can become the thing that only momentarily lightens whatever weight or load that feels too heavy to carry. I remember in college how buying books and reading would bring me so much joy. I felt purposeful in my reading, there was a point to it, but when I started my internship that lasted a whole year, that momentary joy, that peace, and solace was gone. Y’all, I read one book that entire year, maybe two. I felt in some way that joy was lacking because I wasn’t reading. (This isn’t to say that it is wrong to find joy in things such as reading or any other activity that causes one to relax. I delve deeper further down. Keep reading :).)
Now, with a job, with creative projects, and being surrounded by family I have reasons upon reasons to be happy, to be joyful. I have love and money, and so so many books. My blog is growing and I’m writing a poetry manuscript and yet I find myself being reminded that, although these things in my life are incredibly beautiful and purposeful, I do not want my joy in life to be wrapped up within and entangled in the things I have or the things I create.
I desire for the joy I have to be consistent, unchanging, and relentless even in the face of scrutiny, pain, or even interruptions.
What sparks joy for me is knowing Jesus and the love and peace and assurance that comes with that.
I want all of the other things in life to be added bonuses to the already present joy of knowing Christ.
This isn’t me bashing things that we as a society can find joy and happiness in. In life, oftentimes when we are not whole within ourselves and with God, joy can be fleeting, happiness, a feeling few and far in-between.
It is important to take moments and ask yourself what is bringing you joy, what isn’t, and how that can be changed. Knowing yourself and choosing to figure out what exactly is pertinent to a joyful life, is a decision only you can make. God can not make it for you, things cannot sustain it, and reading all of the self-help books in the world will not help unless you put action to your decision to choose joy.
I know, dear readers, some of you may not coincide with the same faith beliefs as me, but joy is a possibility many find to be unattainable, my hope is that you would choose to make the endeavor of discovering Jesus and just see what happens.
Find the motivators of joy in your life. Discover the spark and kindle it until it becomes a full-fledged flame.