Dean Nepean Church Family,
I was thinking about joy this week and realized that my deepest longing these days is not for a faster car or a bigger house but for the ability to experience joy regardless of the situation I find my self in. There was a time when the next big thing, or the latest gadget, or the new fishing rod and reels had me feeling good, and they did, but somehow it never seemed to last.
Took me a while to figure it out.
Thomas Aquinas once said, “No one can live without joy.” But many try. And the reason is simply that they don’t know how to be happy! They are so intent on the three P’s we now hear from too many pulpits – power, prosperity and prestige – that they miss out on joy.
Henri Carier-Bresson, who pioneered modern photography as a form of art, shot a picture in a poor section of Spain in the 1930’s. The picture depicts a run-down alley surrounded by decaying walls, strewn with rubble, randomly stacked piles of debris lying on the street, and everything riddled with bullet holes. Looking at it evokes feelings of sadness and despair. A depressing sight if ever there was one.
But then comes the contradiction:
Within that grim alley children are playing. They wear dirty and tattered clothes, as one might expect, but they are playing like children everywhere do, they are laughing with carefree joy. In the foreground of the picture, a tiny boy on crutches hobbles away from two other boys, his face lit up with a broad grin. One boy is laughing so hard he has to hold his sides. Others lean on the cracked, bullet ridden walls, beaming with delight.
The point: Joy amidst the rubble of life! Laughter amongst the ruins. The truth is we cannot avoid pain no matter how hard we try. But we can avoid joy. We cannot escape hardships and trouble, but we can miss out on much of life’s love and laughter.
If you feel that you need more joy, then try something I do: Spend a little time each day doing something you enjoy or spend time with someone you like or love. Do the little things that give you peace. Learn to laugh with all your heart. Loud, long and lasting.
Learn to cultivate within yourself an attitude of hope. Fill each day with as much love as you can possibly handle. But most importantly, anchor yourself to the One who can give joy in huge doses.
You’ll still have plenty of problems, but through it all, you’ll find all the joy you will ever need!
Just imagine, joy, in the middle of everything that is going on right now, is yours.
Here are some options to return your tithe and offerings:
1. Mail a cheque to the church address:
Nepean Seventh-day Adventist Church
4010 Strandherd Drive.
Ottawa ON K2J 4R8
2. Online Giving (link will open in a new page)
- A debit card with a CVV code (3 digits code printed on the back of the card), or
- A credit card with a CVV code is required