December 14, 2011: J is for JOY

“I’m chilling today with Faith, you two, is all you ever say. And if we didn’t know better, you’ve been acting mighty gay.” (From New Best Friend – A Little Book of Faith by Vera Jones)

We’ve all probably been asked the question a time or two, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” Last I checked here the Florida Lottery Powerball Jackpot was up to 78-million dollars! Just the other night while riding in the car I began to contemplate that after taxes and a bunch of red tape, if I were to win, I would be walking – oh no, excuse me – dancing away with close to 40-million big ones, I bet. The thought alone bugs my eyes, swells my chest, sends my mind racing and widens the smile on my face to the point my cheeks begin to hurt. Everyone I know that gets asked that question seems to have a very similar joy-filled physical response.

Rather than discuss all of the things one could begin to do with 40-million dollars, I wanted to touch on that visceral emotion of joy we are likely to experience should such a windfall ever occur. But for a moment, right now, just deeply imagine you just won $40-million dollars. Are you smiling? (If you are not, you are not imagining hard enough, or you may simply need counseling for severe stoicism.) Many people begin to imagine big homes, new cars, boats, trips, purchasing a small island, huge acts of charity and philanthropy and debt free as well as work free lives. We are talking extreme excitement here, ginormous giddiness, and huge happiness!

Capture that that emotion! Hold it. Squeeze it into your essence. Feel it, taste it, smell it, hear it, experience it with every one of your senses. Now, here is the big test. Remove the thoughts of stuff you could buy and things you could do with that huge sum of money. Can you still feel that tremendous sense of joy or has it been deflated? If you can still sense what joy feels like without tangible objects and material things, then your joy is pure. Pure joy is spiritual. It cannot be removed or altered by the addition or subtraction of objects or events in your life. Pure joy is a place you can arrive at only with the assistance of faith in something bigger and better than yourself. God allows us to experience joy by the nature of who he is. But there is a catch. We also experience pain and sadness and other negativity. So our perceived joy can seem quite fleeting and inconsistent at times.

Faith is joy’s little helper. When you can believe that no matter what happens, come what may, your life is rich, your life is good, and your life is purposeful, pure joy will always be a part of the essence of who you are. Even on your worst days, the voice of Faith will remind you that you are going to be okay, things will eventually work out, and you are always richly blessed. It is much like imagining you just found out you won the lottery even if you have not actually received the proceeds yet. You know it’s coming so you sing, you dance, you smile , you laugh and you experience joy just on the sheer anticipation of greater things to come.

Today, whatever you may be experiencing, a good day, a horrible day or a day somewhere in between, can you find the faith to believe that your life is great regardless of the possessions you currently have? Can you experience joy independently beyond your physical health or your current emotional assessment? Possessions, circumstances, feelings, thoughts change regularly, but pure joy exists forever in your spirit, just by simply acknowledging it. Remember, in my exercise earlier, you hadn’t actually received that $40-million dollars yet. You likely have never received such material wealth. (If you have, please contact me directly and expeditiously!) Yet you had no trouble calling upon and even experiencing joy from just the mere thought of what that windfall might bring because pure joy exists independently and inherently. You can be that jackpot lottery winner every day in spirit, a virtual mental millionaire! Just take the time to imagine your life of great joy and have faith that you are already richer than you could ever imagine. Turn that thought into action today and let the world experience what a true joy-filled, faith-filled millionaire looks like! Wow! Wealth of joy looks so good on you! I love it!



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