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How Do You Find Joy?

July 3, 2019

Another Way for week of June 28, 2019

Who’s Got Joy?

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Down in my heart, down in my heart…”

No, it wasn’t Marie Kondo crooning this old timey little Sunday school song but rather Granny on Beverly Hillbillies recently. If you’re not sure who Marie Kondo is, she’s the decluttering queen who encourages families or couples to look long and hard at all their possessions and to keep only the things that truly bring them joy. She has appeared on many television talk shows as the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Old picture of the old style TV everyone used to have, upon which we watched things like Beverly Hillbillies.

If you’re not sure who Granny on Beverly Hillbillies is, that’s a show from the 60s that still airs on the MeTV channel, watched mostly by older folks. So, the other Saturday morning as I was getting breakfast (here I’m going to sound like the old timey, yes, Southern grandma that I am), it did my heart good to hear this little chorus from my growing up days.

Once in a while, even today, you see a television show with wise morals, values, and a positive portrayal of Christian faith that keeps you singing all day long. I wouldn’t hold up Beverly Hillbillies as a model of Christian behavior, but that morning’s program portrayed some excellent examples of how to treat other people.

Granny had gotten herself in trouble with her wealthy banker neighbors, the Drysdales, by picking up a garden implement she mistakenly thought her son Jethro had carelessly left outside. Granny took it home and the neighbors accused her of stealing it. Well that set off a feud to rival the McCoys and Hatfields, with an ongoing misunderstanding until the end of the show. Finally Granny, after numerous angry words back and forth, and numerous Sunday school songs she sings to herself, is inspired to take the high road and apologize to the Drysdales for her mistake. They reconcile and all is well, at least until the next episode. How many schoolyard fights and misunderstandings between spouses or coworkers would benefit from backing down, valuing the relationship, and offering a genuine apology? That was the message I took to heart that Saturday morning.

Perhaps it would do us all good to more frequently remember how loved and special we each are according to the teachings of the Bible. One seminary professor, Lynn Jost, writing in the Rejoice! devotional magazine, shared an experience from his own seminary days. He recalled an exercise where each student was asked to place humans on a 10-point scale, with earthworm as lowliest with a “1”, and God as highest with a “10.” Where would you rank yourself on that scale as a human? Probably most of us would only give ourselves a 7 or perhaps an 8, as he did in that class exercise. But according to Psalm 8:5, our place in creation as humans is just “a little lower than God and crowned with glory and honor.” So, we are all more like a “9” if you take this verse to heart. Does that give you joy or a wow for your day?

Here you see why I even have an old grainy picture of a grainy TV screen: our oldest daughter Michelle taking some of her first steps. Now that’s JOY, for child and parents alike. Her Daddy is sitting by, ready to catch her if she tumbles.

Jost goes on to suggest keeping this “9” status in front of you even when you are frustrated by the “wasted motions” of a grocery store clerk, or exasperated by a driver on the highway. Such an approach can make a difference in your attitude. Both you and that other person are “9” in God’s eyes. That thought can refill your well of joy.

In another scripture, Zephaniah the prophet is foretelling how the people of Israel in the Old Testament—who went astray many times—will be restored as God’s people. Zephaniah 3:17 reminds them and us: “The Lord your God … will take great delight in you.”

If quarreling and unruly people were told God will find joy in having created them, surely God delights in you, too. And my other takeaway? I haven’t yet done a Marie Kondo cleansing of our house, but I find that just donating objects I’m no longer using or want does my heart good, too!

***

When did a song lift you up at just the right time? What was it?

***

I just have to mention an exciting new Mennonite hymnal that is coming out in 2020. Learn more over at Voices Together. 

Other comments? Post here or Email me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or write to Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

 

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4 Comments
  1. Kathy M Judy permalink


    This is the location of a song sung by the Dixie Echoes. It’s called “I’ll have a new life” . It truthfully gives me energy when I’m feels down. Recorded I believe long ago in a Baptist Church somewhere in the south. I hope the link works. If not, just go to youtube😊

    • Thanks Kathy, for posting this and your comment. Any song that gives you energy when feeling down is a winner. That young bass fellow is just awesome! But was the song you were pinpointing on The River Jordan? Or did I watch the wrong one. Nice that you checked in!

  2. Only you could merge Marie Kondo, the Beverly Hillbillies, and the Mennonite Hymnal into a post that makes sense. Thanks for the enlightenment about the rating scale. I’ll claim a “9” for today!

    A song I refer to often these days: God Will Make a Way by Don Moen, simple and based on Isaiah 43:19: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zo3fJYtS-o

  3. Happy 4th to you, Marian, and thanks for checking in on your “off” week. I like your description of what I merged–and glad it made sense! I will check out the song you have posted as well. Love getting these suggestions!

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