No. 1049 - THE LIFE OF JOY!

No. 1049



There is a little three-letter word in the English language that, when examined in the clear light of day, can make a tremendous difference in our lives. The word is “JOY.” According to the dictionary, it means “A strong feeling of happiness; gladness; delighted.” There are few among us who would not like to live a life of joy -- one of happiness, gladness and being delighted with the events and relationships that are taking place around us each day.
I guess the 1888 poem by Ernest Thayer titled “Casey at the Bat” pretty well sums up what it means to have joy or not to have joy. The story line of this poem is about a baseball game between an opponent and the fictional nine of the town of Mudville. The home team is trailing by two runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. It comes down to two outs and two men on base, when mighty Casey comes to bat. The game ends with the now famous words, “There is no joy in Mudville, mighty Casey has struck out.”
To be sure, there was no joy in Mudville that day, but this was just a temporary thing and most likely only lasted until the next game when their team again tasted victory. Now, I believe you will agree that it is one thing to have joy that comes and goes with the winning or losing of sporting events, and to have real joy in our lives that takes us through good times and bad times, the victories and the defeats. To live a life of true joy, to be happy, glad and delighted about our station in life and the circumstances we live with day after day, is a desired lifestyle that most of us would like to have. I know this is true for me.
If for some reason you feel like your life is humdrum, has no excitement, many personal problems, and you don’t look forward with anticipation to each new day, I have some thoughts that may be helpful. We often hear about the joys of life, but what about living a life of joy? Here is what works for me, and if you don’t already live this way, it may be something you wish to consider. When you take the word “JOY” and see it as an acrostic, the letters stand for Jesus, Others and You. You can even take a sheet of paper and write JESUS on the top line, the next line the word OTHERS, the following line the word YOU -- that makes it easier to visualize. After living for so many years of struggle without Jesus, and having no true joy in my heart, I finally came to realize what I had been missing.
What I am suggesting is a change in lifestyle and a change in your priorities. While not easy, it is almost that simple. If you are not already living this way, each day when you get up and head out, make a commitment that you will place Jesus first, others next and yourself last. You can believe me when I tell you that I have tried it both ways, and there is no comparison to the personal feeling I get of happiness, satisfaction and real joy in my heart when I do this. Now this is in no way meant to detract from the job or task at hand, the things we have to do to earn a living, or the commitments we have to keep. Rather, this is a matter of attitude and how we see, treat and interact with other people.
It has been said that it is our “attitude, not our aptitude that will determine our altitude.” Attitude is a powerful thing. Experts have determined that attitude is responsible for about 85 percent of our success in life, while knowledge and skill make up the balance. There are many people who understand that attitude makes the difference, but they don’t make the connection that a personal relationship with Jesus is what controls their attitude. When we can see others in this light, and make a commitment to help and serve them, our whole world will change.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)