“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” –George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950), Man and Superman

How’s that for a quote end the week? I don’t know about you, but his words stir me to action! This coming year, my word of the year is JOY. In my preparation, I’ve done a little research on the word joy, just to see what I came up with. One common thing that kept popping up:

Joy is in the doing, the experience.

Happiness is a fleeting emotion that comes and goes, while Joy is a state of mind, a way of being. Joy comes from the inside and is not brought about by outside stimuli. The people/things around us might add to that joy, but true joy—that state of being—comes from within.  Mr. Shaw’s quote says true joy is in three things:

  1. True joy is in having a purpose. Everyone is born looking for their purpose in life, where they fit in, why they’re here. Some people find it easily, others search for years. For me, it is in knowing that I am a wife, mom, and writer—it is my purpose to exemplify God’s love to these people through my ministry.

2.  True joy is in a job well done. Okay, so that’s not exactly what Mr. Shaw says. He says “being thoroughly worn out”, which given the context tells me it’s about completing a task knowing you gave 100%. Do we give our all all the time? Or are we merely shells wandering through life doing the bare minimum that is expected of us?

3. True joy is in being a force of Nature.  I love this one. It ties in nicely with #2. A force of Nature is unstoppable. A person with this joy doesn’t let life get in the way. Too often, when things don’t go our way, when things go wrong, we shut down. We make excuses. We need to take charge of our lives, make examples of ourselves, and be the light in the world.

What does that have to do with us here at NAF? I’m glad you asked. People are naturally attracted to joyful people (not to be confused with overly perky). Joyful people are more positive, less self-centered, and possess that “it” thing that curiosity demands an explanation for.

More than all that, joyful people spread that joy around. The best joy is the joy that can be divided is a paraphrase of another famous quote. Despite what some may claim people want to be happy. Joy brings people together.

If joy is action and experience, what brings us joy?

Most people you ask will say family, friends, faith in the Lord. And there’s a reason. When we interact with those closest to us, our love is reflected and that stimulates joy. For me, I can’t beat a day hanging out with my husband and kids—whether it’s an afternoon at the beach or veggin’ in front of the TV on PJ day.

Love produces joy, they feed into each other, a big circle.

For your own reflection, what brings you joy, and why?

About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

3 comments on “JOY

  1. “It is not always a joyful story, but it is always a hopeful one.”–Rebekah Joy Plett, artist.

    I love this quote for so many reasons. Of course, the only difference is that my journey is always joyful…or at least He gives me the strength to make it so.

    I truly love this post.

    I am overjoyed when someone says to me, “Thank you, you’ve inspired me,” or and I’m paraphrasing, “I see God in you.”


    That brings me joy. Because then I know…I’m doing something right.

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