Not More Joy

Can I be honest with you? Sometimes I’m lured into thinking that if I just had a little more in my life, my joy would be complete. I’m not talking all the time, nor am I talking about the lottery, but, just a little more here or there. Like having just one more bathroom in my house; Or one more digit in my paycheck; Or a car that is a little more updated.

In my life I’ve always felt this way. No matter how much or how little I’ve had, the temptation to believe that just a little more would make my joy complete, was always present. Sometimes like a wallflower quietly filling space in the periphery of my heart, and other times seductively anchored at the center of my heart. If I had just a little more, my joy would be complete. Truth be told, the actual joy that I experience through life hasn’t increased any as I’ve amassed more over the years.  There is not more joy waiting on the other side of more stuff.

Maybe it’s human nature to always want more; Or maybe, it’s my biochemical makeup of neurotransmitters surging with anticipation for the reward of getting more; Or maybe, it’s perceived obsolescence that fills me with fear of being an old and outdated if I cannot keep up with the Jones’. Maybe.
During this season the drive for more can be quite acute. More decorations. More shopping. More food. More production. More parties. More gifts. More lights. More. More. More.

The elation of Christmas magic has driven us all to find it and protect it at any cost. We rush to and from stores. Fighting people for parking spots. Spending money that we don’t have. Rushing from party to party. Mailing out a million Christmas cards. All for the hope of creating joy in this season because if we all had just a little more than we could experience the full joy of Christmas. Or will we?

Rewind a couple thousand years, and we’ll find an unwed, young girl, in a manger, with her baby in an animal trough, soon to flee from persecution into the land of Egypt . No big parades, or parties to attend. There wasn’t any great production, pretty lights, or eggnog. Just a lonely, silent night.

Yet Mary in her anticipation for this crisis says, “From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.”

What if this season, we slowed down a little? What if we were intentional to bask in joy and gratitude, despite how much more we do or do not have. What if like Mary, you and I gave praise to God regardless of our circumstance. It may just awaken in us the joy, blessedness, and goodness that we’ve been so busy trying to manufacture this season.
This Christmas, may you ponder on the truth that there is not more joy with more things. Instead may you take time for a silent night, and find that joy has been there waiting for you all along.

Submitted by Iki Taimi
Iki Taimi
Senior Pastor at La Sierra University Church
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Daniel - December 14th, 2022 at 1:03pm

Thanks Iki, nice to be reminded of what's really important.

Jan - December 15th, 2022 at 11:28am

💕 yes!