“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Last week, I wrote about happiness and how it might be different than joy. I came to the conclusion happiness is circumstantial whereas joy exists outside of circumstances. If joy is not defined by circumstances, then it must exist in and of itself and must then be found and incorporated into my life.
So, how does one go about finding joy?
I think the first task one must accomplish is to define joy. If one doesn’t know what it is, how does one go about finding it?
I’ve given this some thought and I believe what brings joy is the belief that one is completely and utterly accepted and loved. When that happens, one finally feels as if he or she has value beyond what he or she can produce, achieve, experience or obtain.
Think about when you first fell in love with someone and they fell in love with you. It really didn’t matter what else happened in your life, did it? Difficulties at work seemed easier. Big financial problems seemed smaller. The problems were still there; they just didn’t quite have the power they previously enjoyed. Your circumstances didn’t dictate your feelings to you. Your internal joy was able to overcome the circumstances.
We run into a problem here, too. That person you fell in love with… is she infallible? Has he made mistakes? Do you still feel completely and utterly accepted and loved? Have you been treated kindly and patiently all the time? Do you have your mistakes brought up time and again long after they were made? Do you know, without any doubt whatsoever, that the person you love is totally sold-out for your well-being; that everything he or she does will be geared towards your ultimate good?
Is that person even in your life now?
If we consistently want joy in our lives, relying on the inconsistency of human loves seems a bit risky… even doomed to fail. We have no choice but to look beyond humanity to establish once and for all that each of us has value in and of ourselves, regardless of station in life, wealth, nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, profession, education or anything else.
Does evolution provide the answer? I think evolution is the anti-joy. Evolution teaches us we have no value. We are merely random beings which evolved from soup and whose only purpose, if one could call it that, is to provide genetic fodder for future adaptations. Where is the joy in that? Where is the intrinsic value each of us possess?
I believe there is only one way to find joy. We must find an immutable perfect Source which loves us each individually and unconditionally. We must find acceptance in One who Himself is perfect. The Bible says God is unchanging. The Bible says God is perfect. The Bible says God is also madly, wildly in love with us. Each of us. Individually. God values each of us so much He was willing to sacrifice anything and everything to win our hearts.
All He asks is we let Him.