Joy in Abundance!

Deep inner joy is an emotionally exciting feeling. If someone has never experienced it, then it is almost impossible to describe what it feels like. Sometimes it is hard to find words for some things. It seems maybe they are experienced preternaturally.

God is a wonderful, understanding Father. He understands joy, and that is probably why He allows us to earn it. It appears that is the only way for us to experience exuberant joy in our hearts.

Once, when Cherokee elder John Red Hat and I were driving east from Albuquerque on highway 40, I felt my joy was subdued or lacking. I felt sad, so I told my Father I really wanted my joy back. It was not long before we came to a rest area, and I quickly wheeled the truck into the exit. I pulled into one of the first parking spots and stopped. I got out of the truck and let my dog, Chewy, out of the back. He was a beautiful, black, chow mix, and definitely not friendly to strangers.

As I walked Chewy around, I saw a man at the picnic area farthest to our right. He was digging in the trash can. I felt sad as I watched him for a moment. I walked Chewy around some more and glanced up again. He had moved to the next trash can and was digging there.

Then I really felt badly. I finished walking the dog, and as I was getting him back into the back of the truck, I noticed the man at the next picnic table chewing on a head of lettuce.

I thought, what can I do to help him? I gathered up a few items of food, including an unopened package of oatmeal raisin cookies. I thought at least that would give him some cereal and fruit.

Then I took what little cash I had in my purse and walked over to the man at the table.

I smiled as I handed him the food and the few dollars and said, “I hope this will help you on your journey.”

He smiled warmly back. He had big, blue, twinkling eyes, a round face, and the most beautiful smile. He said, “Thank you, God bless you!”

I walked happily back to my truck, and as I settled in and started up the engine, I realized I had my joy back!

I was exuberant! Then I realized what my Lord had done. He had let me earn my joy back. I thanked him silently, many times over, and my happiness and joy overflowed. I had joy in abundance!

-D. Daigle