JOY and the Pinta Island Tortoise...
You know what I love?
I love being with someone who listens with expectation. Someone who talks with great enthusiasm about life. Someone who reflects on the good parts of his or her day and comments on the blessings in life.
I love it when I'm swallowed up in someone's laughter, the medicine for the forlorn heart. Laughter is as contagious as yawning. When someone is producing happiness, it's hard to sit on the sidelines and critique the quality of its production. There is never more jealousy than when someone who is bitter and miserable witnesses someone who is free and alive. You can cut the envy with a dull switchblade.
There is so little joy these days that when someone possesses this quality they stand out like a naked guy streaking at a baseball game. It's distracting. It's attracting. It's hard not to stand and stare at someone who is caught up in the beauty of life, captured by the sheer simplicity of being alive and living to tell about it. This person is as rare as the Pinta Island Tortoise.
There are simple keys to having joy:
1. You must wake up and discipline yourself to see the good in life.
2. You must talk to others about what you love about them and the world around you.
3. You must accept misfortune as the black backdrop on which the diamonds of blessing become all the more resplendent.
4. You must walk with God as if he were your tour guide and your rear guard.
5. You must encourage everyone you meet with a kind word.
6. You must listen to music that affirms the good in life and inspires you to create something pleasant and pleasurable in your world.
7. You must listen well, catch the little clues people drop about their heart, and speak something into them that is custom fit for their "hope shortage".
8. You must resist the urge to feel like you're growing when all you're doing is tearing everyone else down around you (even if just in your mind).
9. You must dare yourself every morning to be different than the world you live in by doing something outrageous and outstanding. Especially if it's small and simple.
10. You must give away money when you see a need protecting yourself from miserly behavior than leads to miserable living.
11. You must forgive quickly and overlook shortcomings in others granting them grace.
12. You must live with the constant hope that the next moment could make all the difference in the world, even if it's just one person's world.
Joy is infectious. Today I want to be infected.