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I Just Wanna Be Happy — NOT!

Now, that title may look confusing.  But I’ll tell you what I mean.

My sister and I were talking this afternoon and we were discussing the difference in happiness and joy.  I’ve known the difference for quite some time now, but she’s much younger than me, so she’s just now coming into a thorough understanding of it. Everyone says they “just want to be happy.”  But I don’t really think that’s the best thing to wish for.  Instead, I choose joy.

Here’s what my sister and I decided:  Happiness depends on things and circumstances.  Joy is a constant wellspring that comes from within, and is not dependent on circumstances or money or other people or possessions.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been poor and I’ve been very comfortable with an income only the top percentage of Americans will ever earn.  I’ve lost almost everything, and now I’m somewhere in the middle.  Given a vote, I’d choose to have plenty of money for myself and lots to give away.

Many folks just aren’t happy when things aren’t going well…when they lose money, or a job, or a relationship.  That’s normal.  But when there isn’t an underlying current of real joy, you’ll be in a pickle when the happiness runs out.

For me, joy comes from knowing my Creator and being secure in knowing I am loved just like I am – I don’t have to earn it.  This makes me want to do my very best to show my appreciation for all I’ve been given – my talents, my family, my opportunities, my friends.

I might lose all my “stuff” one day, but nobody can take my joy away!

How about you?  What are your thoughts?