Sunday Sermonizing: Searching for Unfading Joy
Fake Christian joy is not a virtue.
Real joy is invaluable. A day is coming when we will experience joy that never fades.
And I can’t get my head around this. What will that be like?
Unfading joy cannot be related to things.
When I was a kid, I received a new guitar for Christmas. I loved that guitar. Christmas morning, 1980. I was incredibly excited when I saw strings and mahogany under the tree. That particular instrument sits in my office to this day. But, my excitement and joy are nowhere near the levels they were when I was 13.
The same can be said about new technology. My iPhone from 2 years ago feels like a flip phone compared to what is coming out this Fall.
Things do not bring us unfading joy.
Unfading joy cannot be related to circumstances.
If people are unhappy at the supposed “happiest place on earth”, you should see them at Costco. Your team might win the match. There could even be a sweet afterglow. But then there's something empty. The afterglow fades. Joy has to be deeper than that.
Good circumstances do not guarantee any joy at all. Let alone the kind of joy that doesn’t fade.
Joy because of circumstances is impossible, really. We live in a world that is a constant experiment in chaos theory. The world defaults to disorganization and destruction.
The best I can conclude is this:
Joy is connected to relationships.
I’ve experienced unfading joy in my relationship with Renee’ over the past 30 years. Same with my children. There’s a taste of that experience in conversation with friends over Sunday brunch. Difficulties and fights and confrontation with my own sinfulness? Yeah, that too. But those relationships make me a better human. The joy increases.
The problem is that all these relationships are suseptible to the possibility of chaos.
There is a day coming when joy will increase like the sun at dawn.
And that sun will never set.
Real, unfading joy.