By Carolyn Tomlin
Contributing Columnist, B&R
The Bible has much to say about the word “joy” — not happiness, but joy. Depending on the version , the Word “joy” or “rejoice” is found about 300 times in Bible. “Happiness” is found 30 times.
Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked with the poorest of the poor in India was asked, “What are your job descriptions for someone who might work with you in the Streets of Calcutta?” Without hesitation, she said, “Hard work and a joyful attitude.”
Often I’m reminded of how to make each day the best. What if this was your last day on earth? What would you do?
Having a good day has to do with being joyful. It’s a known fact that young children learn best through their senses. As adults, we also rely on our five senses to help us attain joy. Look at the ways the sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste allow us to find joy in simple things.
When I think about joy, I’m reminded of the verse from James 1:17. “Every good and perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father.” Look at some of the simple pleasures in life that God provides brings joy.
Sight: sunsets, spider webs, dew on roses, stars at night
Hearing: gentle breeze, great old hymns, Southern Gospel music, wind rustling in the trees
Touch: the first time you held your baby, holding hands with your spouse or children, snuggling with someone you love
Smell: first drops of rain after a dry spell, fresh turned earth, marigolds and mums
Taste: chocolate, first cup of morning coffee, fried green tomatoes, turnip greens and hot, butted cornbread
Every one of the items comes from God. He made this amazing body and provided us with our 5 senses. Computers and technology can never reproduce the capabilities of the human mind and body. Perhaps some don’t work as well as they once did, but there are devices, such as hearing aids and glasses, made by scientists and researchers that substitute. But who gave these inventors the intelligence and ability to provide these items? God, of course.
Yes, every good gift is from above and cometh down from the Father. As parents and grandparents, how can we find joy in our lives? How can we teach others to look for the simple things that bring joy?
Charles Swindoll, author of Laugh Again — Experience Outrageous Joy says to live in the present and say “no” to negative attitudes. Realize that no life is perfect. Joy is always available. He uses the book of Philippians as a guide and reassures you that no matter what your circumstances, you can laugh and be joyful.
Helen Keller, said, “The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched. They must be felt with the heart.” B&R — Tomlin, of Jackson, writes for the Christian market and teaches the Boot Camp for Christian Writers.