Just so we can get it out of the way, yes I did - again! - immediately think of pop music references when I started thinking about JOY this week: this one and this one. I know, I'm such a dork. Really, I promise, I don't plan it this way!
Joy just seems like a very particular kind of happiness, don't you think? Joy is something you jump and shout for, cry tears of and get completely filled to bursting with. Everyone finds joy in different places, but wouldn't it be grand to find it everywhere? I thought of that as I folded the small mountain of laundry that somehow got lost in last week's busyness. And then I thought again, as I have many times since he said them, of the words of our prophet:
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly.
And then I went back and re-read all of his words that day, and remembered that it is possible to find joy everywhere, if only we will see it and be grateful. Lately, and especially in the last few weeks, it's been my prayer and my goal to sort out the important things from, well, everything else. It shouldn't have been surprising that as I've put those most important things at the top of my list, I've found more joy in every day:
This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.
We all find joy in different places, but we all find it in the same way:
... realize what is most important, [...] express our gratitude always
and thus find joy in the journey.
Merry, merry Christmas! May you find joy in the season and then keep finding it every day.