Three Kinds of JOY


Euphonic Joy is feeling intense excitement and happiness.  As I write this my grandchildren are sleeping at home in Boston.  I on the other hand, am in Florida with Audrey. They think they are going to New Hampshire tomorrow.  However, when they wake up they will be opening a box with the biggest surprise of their lives.   “YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!”   Imagine the intense feelings they are going to have all day. They will be flying on a plane for the first time in their lives. They will be going to Florida for the first time in their lives.  They will go to their hotel then get on a bus to Epcot and will be greeted by their grandparents, who they think are back home.  To be honest even as I write this I am feeling intense excitement and happiness in anticipation of greeting them.

Illusionary Joy is the kind of Joy that is temporary and fleeting and comes from a false sense of reality.  Sometimes it can be the letter you get in the mail that says your investments have increased by 10%.  A month later they have decreased 15%.  Rene Descartes said, “Illusionary joy is often worth more than genuine sorrow.” The reality is until you cash out your investment, the letters you get in the mail are Illusionary which can bring joy or sorrow.   Another way we experience Illusionary joy is when we are eating a favorite treat or meal or giving into a forbidden temptation.   We experience this illusionary joy and like a puff of smoke it is over.  Some people chase after this joy with abandonment.  This we name addiction.

True Joy:   This gives out an energy that empowers us to do things that once seemed too difficult to attempt.  True joy looks at problems and sees ways to fix them.  True Joy feeds your confidence.  No problem! You’ve got energy, buoyancy. You’re alive!  True Joy is the deep happiness that comes with fulfilling your potential.  True Joy can be a constant as it stokes the power within for living life.  True joy does not deny the reality of pain and grief. It faces it, names it and says I will get through this.

  Euphonic and illusionary joy is temporary and often covers up the reality of our pain. We seek out these kinds of joy thinking if we avoid we don’t have to deal with the issues.  Sometimes avoidance is needed but at some point you have to face reality. We just need to know that when we seek these kinds of joy happiness is temporary and come from outside ourselves.  True Joy is born within and is a matter of the heart rather than the mind.

“The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17 NLT)

Euphoric and Illusionary joy are a matter of the mind. The quest for true joy is a matter of the heart.  The journey form the mind to the heart is only 12 inches long.    It is from the heart…we discover the depth and breadth of Hope, of Peace, of Joy and of Love.  True joy empowers us to open our arms wide and breathe deeply! True joy looks at creation and sees clearly and more dearly all that exists around them.   True joy endows us with the ability to press on and overcome.  True Joy declares: FEAR NOT! BE NOT AFRAID! For unto you is born a child who is Christ the King.     Those who take the journey from head to heart find God and discover ALIVENESS!  Rev. Dr.  Howard Thurman said it best.  “What makes you come alive? Go do that, the world needs people who are alive.”  This is living in true Joy.