Monday, January 18, 2010

joy : the verb

There is an epidemic sweeping our nation. It is not a new plague, but rather, one that we have allowed to infect our mass population. It is not H1N1, HIV/AIDS, it is not cancer and it is not a disease that is without a cure. In fact, this deadly disease has a remedy, but we have become lazy in taking the proper procedures that would prevent us from contracting the virus. We have become neglectful in taking the proper medication to rid us of this nasty infection.

Yes, I’m talking about complaining.

Harmless as it seems, complaining is a slow and sure death trap. It slowly begins to contaminate our brain causing us to change our outlook on life and our present circumstances through moldy, green colored glasses. Once the disease has overtaken the brain, it quickly spreads to the heart. The heart and the mind can no longer function as a cohesive pair. There is a communication breakdown in the nervous system that does not allow messages to be sent through a clear channel between the two. Wants and needs become mixed up which causes the response to these thoughts to become irrational or, often times, unmet. Motives become unclear. Life transforms into a vile foe that is out to laugh at us, or worse, destroy us.

I suppose this would be the appropriate time to give a personal admission; I too suffer from this disease. I have hidden it away, allowing it to consume me in devastating ways. Shamefully, I have not come forward and told my story. But as I have looked around, I have seen that many suffer from the affliction. My heart began to weep for what we were missing out on. Life is not our enemy, life is our gift. It is our opportunity to live it to the full. But it is not merely just these things, more so, it is a promise given to us by Jesus.

I have begun treatment for the sickness and have found that the darkness inside is being shined out by a great light; a light of hope and gratefulness. The cure? Simple. It is finding the joy in all things. It is being content, whatever the circumstance. It is finding whatever is lovely, and true, and praiseworthy and admirable and thinking on these things.

For me, my recovery has consisted of a small but greatly effective exercise. Each day I find something to be excited about. Mostly, it has been in the little things. When added together, these small joys bring a great joy that becomes a mighty force against the symptoms of complaining.

This is my road to recovery. This is my story of finding great joy in the little treasures that each day holds. This is my life’s adventure in which I find a place beyond complaining. This is my quest to capture the small and glorious gems that this life hides throughout each day for me to find and store in my treasure chest, that is, my heart.

My inspiration comes from Philippians 4: 8

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

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