Surprise!

Hi there. 

You will never guess where I am writing this blog?  I am sitting in the waiting area at the Cleveland Clinic. 

Now to all my friends and family… don’t worry, nothing life threatening.  My wife is having some tests.  I can get into more detail with loved ones through a different communication vehicle other than the blog.

Anyway, the trip to the Cleveland Clinic came about quite suddenly, last Friday afternoon.  Situations like this scream the reality that “life can change quickly.”  If you have any years on your Life-O-Meter you too have either personally experienced or seen the life of someone close to you change quickly. 

Now the surprise visits by the unknown can either be positive (winning the lottery) or negative (a tragedy).  Unfortunately the negative unknowns seem to bite us in the butt more often than the positives.

Regardless of what we think is going to happen, life has a naughty way of disrupting our tidy plans. 

It is times like this where life conveniently puts us back into our place with the realization that we are not ultimately in control.  At best we can only plan, be diligent in our daily affairs and then hold loosely to the things within our grasp.

That’s the hard part… hold loosely.  There is this control thing that humans seem to struggle with.  It’s as though we think we can take life around the neck and force it to succumb to our whims.  Now don’t get me wrong, I think we should live life to the fullest.  But we have to remember that although life may tolerate our naïve planning, we are not in control. 

I believe each day is a gift for us to cherish and enjoy what is offered even though the circumstances may not be happy.

Joy vs. Happines

This morning in the hotel room while thinking about the blog for today something struck me. 

I was mulling over the difference between joy and happiness.  I reflected on the typical points such as, happiness is base on the condition of circumstances where joy is a condition of the heart.

Two common questions came to mind that took the difference of joy and happiness to a different level.

  • What makes you happy?
  • What brings you joy?

I do not wish to trivialize happiness.  Happiness is not an insignificant thing.  Happiness and joy often comes together complimenting each other.  But if we are not careful we focus on happiness and lose the greater

Joy is a gift to be received regardless of the circumstances you find yourself.  Joy is offered not as shiny things that catch your eye on the platter of life but the form of simple non-descript items that tend to go unnoticed

God Alert:  To my friends who are still trying to figure out what you believe, I am not asking you to believe what I believe.  But I do encourage you to consider this interesting bit of history that focuses on JOY.

 

It is interesting to me that when the announcement of the birth of Christ the angels did not announce “Happiness to the World.”  It was clear… JOY to the world. 

The circumstances of His birth were not happy.  They were dreadful.  He was not born in a mucked and clean County Fair stable but an active stable where the smell of acrid straw accented the air. 

How could joy be present in such a place?  From our human standpoint there is no joy in such surroundings. 

How can there be joy in the waiting area of one of the world’s most renowned medical facilities?  I look around at people from literally all over the world coming here for a glimmer of hope.   You can see the stress on the faces of those who are ill and the concern of the family members.

This is not a happy place… but I have joy.  That despite the circumstances life has tossed our way this past weekend… I have joy. 

How cool is that?  Hopefully you will be open to receive the joy that’s offered to us all.

See you Thursday.

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