Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself.
Have you ever had one of those days where everything you touched seemed to turn to work out?
You feel like you are on top of the world, and nothing can knock you off.
I was flying high! It was a terrific day, and I was feeling the euphoria of a project finally coming together. It seemed as if every person I talked to was interested in my project, and the gray cloud of doubt I had been under for so long was finally starting to lift.
The sun seemed brighter, even though it was raining.
I had a new song, a better song… a happier song.
But someone else wanted to be king of my castle, and I allowed my crown to tumble.
I was driving to my next appointment, the second last one for the day, I was singing, traffic was flowing and I had nothing but joy to keep me company. As I turned on the main thoroughfare, and was heading across the causeway, I noticed a pickup in my rear-view mirror that was so close to my rear bumper, I couldn’t even see the headlights. In the cab of the truck I could see three ball capped, orkish heads leering at me, trying to push me to go faster.
I maintained my speed.
He stayed on my tail, but now he was sounding his horn, announcing that he wanted me to go faster or get out of the way.
Thinking that he was in a hurry to get somewhere, I slowed down and pulled over as close to the side of my lane as I could, leaving lots of room between me and the next lane, which, incidentally, was completely open. The horn sounded louder and the truck crept even closer.
I pulled off at the next exit, and he followed me, so I edged over to the side of my lane again, and he pulled up beside me and slowed to match my speed. The side window jerked down and three sets of eyes burned at me from shrouded heads. I matched their gaze, looking into the driver’s eyes, gently shook my head in disbelief and smiled one of those “I can’t believe you’re so stupid”, pitying smiles.
That’s when they started throwing insults and paper coffee cups out their window at me, and jerking the truck dangerously close to pushing me off the road. I pulled into a service station and waited for them to move on, almost daring them to pull up, but hoping they would just continue on, which they did, their bullying done for one day.
I sat there, fuming, incensed and enraged, replaying the whole experience over and over in my mind and planning what I would do if I was given another chance to meet up with them.
Now a few days later, I look at it differently. What I learned from this is “Don’t let people or circumstances rob you of your joy: Stay in peace.”
I don’t know how accurate this may be, but I have noticed that many times when I seem to be at my highest, negative people will appear, almost magically, trying to knock me down to a lower spot. Then, when I have given them permission to do it and I tumble, they just disappear, leaving me frustrated, deflated and seeking revenge.
Does that sound familiar? Actually, I hope it doesn’t. I hope that you are more in control than that.
I wanted to tell you this story today because, while it helped me realize that giving away my joy was easily done, I want more for you.
There are so many people out there who are more than willing to unload on you and take your joy. It wouldn’t be so bad if, when they took it, they used it and became joyful themselves, but they seem to discard it and then they become more miserable in the process.
Joy is a funny thing. When it’s taken from you, it’s gone, but when it’s willingly given, it multiplies. If we seek to hold on to our joy and hoard it all to ourselves, it soon becomes stale, but if we look for places to express it, it becomes much more than what we originally had. Joy is meant to be shared.
So, friends, this week, I’m going to ask you to do something: First of all, don’t do what I did and let them steal your joy. Learn ways to maintain your good attitude and develop a habit of happiness that you are willing to share with others. Avoid the people who are negative: filter them out of your life. Recognize that if you want to remain joyful, you must be willing to give it away, and when you do, you’ll soon discover that the best way to avoid someone stealing it is to give it.
Make this your most joy filled week ever.