Thursday, July 29, 2010

What is Joy?


So before I can dive fully into to this project, and what I hope to become my new way of viewing life, I need to ask some questions.  If my challenge is to find, or rather realize, the joy in every day…I have to ask myself, what is joy?

When I say the word JOY I think of happiness, laughter, enjoying the moment.   Webster defines joy as:

1 a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
2 : a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3 : a source or cause of delight

The first definition sounds greedy to me.  It is the feeling that results from getting what we want.  That is not what I want this challenge to be for me.  I’m more of a #2 girl, I guess.  I want to capture those moments, big or small, that cause me unexpected joy.  Unplanned Joy.  Surprise Joy.  …That is my goal.

The word joy often takes me back to a story from my past.  I see my grandfather’s sweet face.  It instantly makes me smile, and as such, brings me joy.

My grandpa was a preacher.  He held other jobs through the years to help support his family but preaching was his passion.  Grandpa Henry also loved to sing, especially in church.  One Christmas, the choir (and Grandpa) shared a collection of favorite holiday hymns with the congregation.  Even though they were songs most of us know by heart, they had music sheets for each one.  Grandpa had them in order and was ready to go, or so he thought. 

Now, I don’t know why he didn’t listen to the intro of the song, maybe he was caught up in the moment.  The pianist, most likely my Aunt Becky, played the beginning of “Silent Night”.  As the choir took a deep breath as a group, one member began to belt out the song.  Well, it was A song, at least.

My Grandpa, full of spirit, loudly and passionately began to sing “Joy to the World”.  About one line into it, he realized he was giving a solo and looked around.  Laughter soon filled the air, in an unplanned moment, one which everyone expected to be sweet and silent.

That story followed Grandpa for years to come.  In fact, it was nothing unusual to hear the beginning tune of “Silent Night” followed by a loud, “Joy to the world!” from anyone who knew the story.

We could never hear either song without thinking of that funny moment that Grandpa unexpectedly gave us.  It still makes me chuckle – and brings me JOY even today.


Anonymous said...


That is hillarious because when I first started reading this post, your grandpa is exactly who I thought of. One year the youth group when caroling in their neighborhood and theirs was the last house we went to. When they opened the door, that is the only thing we sang "JOY". Just that one word. Then everyone laughed and sang another carol, probably Silent Night, but I don't remember.

Staci Scott

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