As a young teenager, whenever I was in an unnecessarily gloomy mood, my dad would ask me, “Are you happy?“ And I would moan my obligatory answer, “Yes”. He would take another look at me and retort: “Then tell your face!“ And then as an incurable kidder, he would burst into song: “If yer happy and ya knowit, then yer face’ll surely showit..!” How can you keep from grinning at a grown man skipping around the room, clapping and singing like a country bumpkin?
My kids sing a song that goes like this: “I got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart to stay!” I like the thought that true joy comes from way down deep in our hearts….a place beyond circumstances. And if joyfulness, delight, and extreme satisfaction rest in our hearts, then our faces will glow with contentment and happiness.
Circumstances and strained relationships can attempt to rob us of our joy. Because joy is more than just a politely forced smile, it cannot be easily taken. Guard your heart, and your household. Think about good things, and be grateful in all things. These disciplines could keep you quite occupied, but you’ll be less likely to have your joy swiped. And if times get tough, remember the optimistic power of an impromptu musical hoe-down!