I’d like to tell you a story: Three friends met for lunch at the golf course ⛳, and each one was full of joy. Reggie, after slightly puffing out his chest, exclaimed, “Well, guys, I “hate” to rub it in, but my team made it to the Final Four …AND my company gave us tickets to the playoffs!” He leaned back in his chair, placing his hands behind his head, and challenged anyone to top that!
Tyrone replied, “Jealous. Not jealous. That’s cool, man! But…I have some pretty good news of my own: My wife told me this morning: ‘We’re having a baby!’ ? I can’t believe it! I’m gonna be a dad!” ? ?? He was beaming and smiling from ear to ear.
“Congratulations, man!” Jim chimed in, “That’s fantastic! When is she due?”
Their conversation continued for a few minutes until Jim changed the subject: “So, I hate to break the mood, but I need to let y’all know that we finally got the pathology report back yesterday. Turns out, I have prostate cancer. ? It’s treatable, but it looks like I’ll be practicing my putt at home for a while.”
“Wait!” you interject. “I thought you said all three men were ‘full of joy’! How is that possible when the third man is sharing a cancer diagnosis? I’m sure he was ‘exuding’ something, but there’s no way it could be JOY!”
As a matter of fact, he was full of joy—just a different type than the other two—we’ll look at that in a bit. But first, I want to share with you about a discussion we recently had on my Facebook page.
As I prayed about and contemplated the word JOY for this month’s devotional, I spent some time in the Bible and a few minutes on Google. Did you know there are 19.5 million articles explaining how/why joy is better than happiness?! Good grief! Just so you know, I’ve decided NOT to add to that total. You’re welcome!
While I was clicking around, I came across a number of images and memes promoting the popular motto: “Choose Joy!” Upon reflection, I wondered if it were literally possible for a person to CHOOSE joy. Rather than ponder this by myself, I chose to pose the question to my Facebook friends—a fantastic cross-section of folks from across the U.S. (and the world)—to see what they had to say…