It’s not a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week of Alexandrian proportions.
Just kind of a yucky, stressful, rotten one.
Basically I’ve been having troubles with my truck and who I’m making payments to. I won’t bore you with the details, but long story short, I was forced to pay late and had to take a trip to the dealership right after I got off work one day.
Only problem: I was scheduled to go to a Core Team meeting for our youth group right after work.
So, naturally, I texted the youth minister (who also is one of my best friends). Something along the lines of “hey man I might be late tonight. Late on a car payment and I’ve got to go to the dealership to sort it out lol.”
I didn’t think anything of it, but later my friend told me he was surprised at the “lol”.
“That’s not a ‘lol’ moment!” he said.
I thought for a second and realized that he was probably right. Most people wouldn’t “lol” at being late on a car payment or having to deal with lifey stuff they don’t want to deal with.
Then again, I’m not most people, and neither are you.
I think it’s important to laugh at things that folks don’t normally laugh at. Not in a rude or insensitive way, of course (that’s mean!), but in a way that realizes that those annoying things aren’t what are important.
When you think about it, nothing should get us down. There really is no reason for a Christian to go around with a frown. We’ve been saved by Jesus Christ! What could possibly go wrong?
I’m not saying we should be all hakuna matata about everything because that’s not life. Things happen in life—depressing and stressful things, I might add. We mess things up, break hearts and lose people. People die.
I’m not saying we should never be sad. Even Jesus wept. In the words of Gandalf, “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”
I’m not saying “always be happy.” That’s simply not realistic.
What am I saying? I’m saying “always be joyful.”
“What’s the difference?” you might ask. Good question.
Happiness tends to be more external. Things can make us happy: a cute puppy, a sunset, even money. Contrary to the popular saying, money can actually buy happiness, but it’s only a temporary and external happiness.
What money can’t buy is Joy, because Joy is something different entirely. It’s a Virtue given us by God. Things cannot make us joyful. People can make us happy, but only a Person—the Person—can make us joyful.
Happiness comes from things and circumstances. It comes from the outside and works its way in.
Joy comes from the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. It starts at the inside and works its way out.
In the midst of struggles and trials and annoying pests in your life that seem hell-bent on making you unhappy, it’s quite easy to actually get a bit unhappy. And that’s okay. Just remember: there is nothing on earth or even in Hell that can take away your Joy.
We all know that “lol” means “laugh out loud.” But the reason we can say “lol” in the middle of a stormy week is because those “lol”s come from the Lord of Love, the big LoL Himself, our Lord and Lover, Jesus the Christ.
Spend some time with Him this week and let Him fill your life with Joy!
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