Virtue of the Week: Joy

Move Your ChairNO JOY? MOVE YOUR CHAIR!

In 1937 architect Frank Lloyd Wright built a house for industrialist Hibbard Johnson. One rainy evening Johnson was entertaining distinguished guests for dinner when the roof began to leak. The water seeped through directly above Johnson himself, dripping steadily onto his bald head. Irate, he called Wright in Phoenix, Arizona. “Frank,” he said, “you built this beautiful house for me and we enjoy it very much. But … the roof leaks, and right now I am with some friends and distinguished guests and it is leaking right on top of my head.”

There was a pause on the line, and Frank Lloyd Wright reportedly replied: “Well, Hib, why don’t you move your chair?”

Just when we would like to have everything perfect in our lives, the roof springs a leak. Into even the most elaborately constructed and waterproof lives. Leaks happen. We have a choice, we can sit under the leak and complain, or we can regain our joy by moving our chair….changing our perspective.

Now, some will point out that the reason they have no joy in their lives is because they don’t have a reason to be joyful. They have a lot of leaks in their roof.

Life seems like it’s fallen apart.
They aren’t satisfied with their job… if they even have one.
Their family has problems.
Their health isn’t good
Their car has gone in for repairs for the 10th time this year.
They just can’t see a “reason” for being joyful.

It’s hard to blame people for feeling this way. It’s hard to be joyful when life is going against you. It’s hard to be joyful when you’re
…struggling with troubles,
…or overwhelmed by pain,
…or unsure of your future.

But there’s a problem with THAT approach to life. If we wait till everything to turns out the way we want them to in our lives… if we’re not going to be joyful until all the leaks are patched in the roof of our lives… THEN we’re NEVER going to experience JOY. Or, if we do have joy, it will be a rare occurrence.

There is an alternative. You don’t have to wait until you’re Happy with your life/ to have Joy in your life. Deep spiritual joy in your life WILL always bring you happiness. But the pursuit of happiness will not always bring you joy. People have a hard time understanding the difference. Worldly happiness is almost always reliant upon some situation or event to make us feel good. If something good happens… we’ll feel good, but if something bad happens… we won’t.

By contrast…..Spiritual Joy does not depend upon present situation. In fact, Spiritual joy often can exist despite our circumstances. Don’t let other people steal your joy. If the roof is leaking and you can’t get someone to fix it right away… MOVE YOUR CHAIR. Change your perspective. Lay hold of some Joy and take control of your circumstances, rather than swinging with your emotions and continuing to look for happiness.

How can I you lay hold of Spiritual Joy?

  • Improve your spiritual life. The more you are filled spiritually, the more joy you will receive.
  • Encourage others in their sadness.
  • Surround yourself with Joyous People.
  • Always give thanks for what you have.

For the Virtuous man or woman, Joy is more than just an emotion. Joy is a Spiritual tool that we can use to overcome our circumstances, to empower us to rise above the pain and the sorrows of this life.

Let’s try and bring some joy to those around us this week!


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