I was doing my hour on the elliptical machine this morning and caught a wonderful segment on 100 Huntley Street. Moira Brown was interviewing Carol Kent, a popular, international, public speaker and one of my favourite authors. I met Carol many years ago, when she was the main speaker at a Navigator Staff Conference in Colorado Springs. At that time, she was leading Speak Up With Confidence seminars – she has written a number of excellent books since.
I would encourage you to read up on Carol Kent’s life. She has been through some very painful experiences in her family and she writes in a compelling and dynamic way that draws you into the deep emotions of living with disappointment and loss.
This morning, Carol was talking about looking for and acknowledging “splashes of joy” in our life – rather than defaulting to a negative outlook. It really does seem to be easier to focus on the negative, doesn’t it? I remember the frustration that I felt when my kids were growing up and I would consciously focus on saying many more positive, uplifting and encouraging comments than negative ones. Yet inevitably, it would be the one negative comment that they remembered and chose to dwell on. The same thing happened with my students and my students’ parents when I was teaching high school – five good marks and one weak subject?….it’s the lower mark that attracts all the attention.
Despite the heaviness of life at times, true joy stabilizes. It’s the foundation on which we can ground ourselves, discipline our minds, think and anticipate good things coming our way; those “divine surprises.”
I think joy is what moves the quality of life we choose up a few notches. I don’t believe that God intends that we merely exist on this earth, counting days until we die. In Him, joy is available and we can learn to expect delightful moments that so richly enhance our day-to-day lives.