Joy and Happiness

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yesterday, I joined several Gladney families at the new Yankee Stadium for a baseball game. I’m a diehard Yankees fan. We had sunshine, a close game and a lot of runs. I came early and stayed late. That’s a recipe for happiness. It doesn’t get any better than that or does it ?

On Thursday and Friday, I had the opportunity to attend the 6th annual Christian Alliance for Orphans conference. The conference was powerful – inspiring speakers, helpful breakout sessions and great conversations with other conference attendees who are focused on the plight of orphans. On Thursday, Stephen Curtis Chapman gave a short concert, closing the evening with beautiful worship music. That night I experienced something deeper than happiness. It was joy, which for me is relaxing in the confidence that God is in charge. Moving worship reinforces this reality. At least it does for me.

Joy is not dependent on circumstances, but happiness is. Had the Yankees game been rained out, my happiness would have vanished. But nothing could have diminished my joy on Thursday night or can undermine my joy in general.

When I have the opportunity to experience happiness and joy back-to-back as I have the last 3 days, I am reminded that I would gladly trade many moments of happiness for the foundation of joy that comes from faith. Joy is lasting. Happiness is fleeting. Joy is power for living. Joy overcomes.