by ALCAP | Tuesday, May 20, 2014
In a memorial service we recall with gratitude those who have gone before us. This is an appropriate and helpful thing to do. However, we also want to remember to appreciate persons prior to their death.
Gratitude is an emotion for all seasons of the year. It is an attitude we should cultivate and practice frequently. Recall during this month those persons who have contributed to your life: parents; grandparents; an uncle or aunt; teachers; and stalwart Christians. Look for opportunities to affirm them; to express sincere appreciation for what they have meant to you. Don’t wait too long to do so. Value your family and friends now while you may.
Billy Sunday used to tell his audiences, “If there’s not joy in your religion, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.” Taken at face value, that statement would seem to indicate that if we were ships instead of Christians, many of us would sink.
Could any of us doubt that a shortage exists of this precious commodity: joy? But even if we admit that a shortage does exist, what can we do about it? I want to encourage you to experience an abundance of joy.
Joy rises above circumstances because it is the condition of the mind in which our powers are absorbed in some creative task. Joy is a window into the future; it is but a glimpse of what we are destined to experience. You can’t get joy by working at being joyful. Working at it is like working at going to sleep – you wake up instead. Joy is a fruit that Americans eat green. We pluck it too early, before it ripens. To go clutching after it is to lose it.
I have discovered that the joy of heaven will begin as soon as we attain the character of heaven, and do its duties. The Christian life that is joyless is a discredit to our God and a disgrace to itself.
Let us in this month of “remembering” accept joy as a gift from God and share it with someone we love.