It’s that time of year again…..you know…time to pick the Word of the Year.
The one word you select to sort of define your soul searching journey for the next twelve months. I know many of you have probably never heard of such a thing before, but there are a great many of you who have. (Google it – it’s all over the internet)
This is my third year to have a “Word of the Year”.
The first year I selected a word of the year I chose the word “Christlike”. You can check out my blog post on why I selected it and what it meant (and still means) to me here. The second year I selected my word of the year it was “Gratitude”. You can read up on that one here.
This year – my third year in selecting a word of the year is…..drum roll please…..oh yeah, never mind – I already put it in the title.
Yep, my word of the year 2016 – is “JOY”.
I want this to be my word this year because I genuinely want this to be a conscientious journey for me.
I believe some people are born with a more natural propensity for joy than others for sure, but for most of us I believe it is a choice. And, whether it be upbringing, surroundings, unfortunate circumstances, who we associate with, etc. we can grow into a full blown habit of not only NOT practicing joy, but, in fact, habitually practicing just the opposite of joy – misery, self-pity, etc.
Don’t you know of someone (I think we all do!) that just tends to look on the dark side of everything? Someone who just can’t grasp the meaning of – let alone embrace – being happy and joyful? Someone who complains incessantly, expresses bitterness, jealousy and just constantly looks for something to criticize and be miserable about? Well I know I have known a couple of people like that. A couple of close friends at different points in my life actually. One of whom I almost had to stop being friends with, because I just couldn’t take it anymore.
I choose joy – and to be joyful you just can’t be unequally yoked with someone who chooses misery.
They’ll suck the life out of you.
Don’t you agree?
And, much of the time I think the reason is because instead of embracing who we are and where we are in life we compare ourselves with others. And, like Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. I believe that wholeheartedly. Isn’t there always someone prettier, more fit, smarter, more successful, richer, etc., etc., etc.? That’ll never change if we constantly compare ourselves with others (and I’m as guilty as anyone on occasion).
God created us individually – with a plan and a purpose for each one of us – and say’s that we are all “…..fearfully and wonderfully made”.
Each of our paths will be different….but there is joy to be found in all of them.
And, there is a reason and a purpose for our own individual path, our own journey.
So there comes a time you have to distance yourself from negative influences – people (no matter how close the relationship), circumstances, or whatever it might be – and make a little space for joy in your life.
And, while I feel I’m a pretty even-keeled person and am happy to say that God has blessed me with a fairly happy spirit – there is a difference between “happiness” and “joy”.
Happiness is “a state of well-being, a pleasurable or satisfying experience”. Joy is from the word rejoice and means “to feel great delight, to welcome or be glad”. And, while I’m a pretty “happy” girl – I want to truly seek and experience real joy regularly in my journey through life.
Did you know that the words “happy” and “happiness” are used in the Bible around 30 times, but the word “joy” and “rejoice” appears over 300 times! Interesting, don’t you think?
And, while we all face trials in our lives that we just aren’t so “happy” about there is a way to seek and find an inexplicable “joy”.
And, I firmly believe it comes from the Lord.
You may not agree – and that’s your choice. And, this certainly isn’t intended to be a sermon of any kind. But, it’s my word of the year after all and for me it’s simply a reality…
I want His kind of joy…..
So I’m going to conscientiously seek His joy – daily.
I’m going to acknowledge that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”, that I am who I am, that I’m on my own path – the one God has set before me and not anyone else’s.
I’m going to strive to recognize the joy along the way of my path through life….
To seek it and experience it.
Besides – the older I get the more I realize that life is way too short not to be joyful.
And, I for one don’t want to miss out on any of it.