A long time ago I learned the difference between happiness and joy. I'm sure I've shared this before but it's been awhile so let's refresh our memories about it. (And a tip o'the Mark's Musings cap to list member the Reverend Doctor James T. for first enlightening me on this subject.)
Happiness comes from the same root word that gave us "happenstance" and "circumstance" and originally had to do with luck. In other words, happiness depends entirely on what's going on around you. It's all exterior.
Joy, on the other hand, comes from within. It is a personal wellspring that each of us must find and nurture, with the help of the Holy Spirit, if so desired. While our happiness can be taken away by our circumstances, nothing can steal our joy.
Why this reminiscence? Because scientists now say that maybe happiness DOES come from within. They think it's a gene we carry.
Your thoughts, as always, are welcome.
There is an old fable about a puppy that was vigorously chasing its tail. An old dog saw him and asked, "Why are you chasing your tail so?"
The puppy answered, "I have mastered philosophy. I have solved the problems of our universe, which no dog before me has solved correctly. I have learned that the best thing for a dog is contentment and happiness. I have further discovered that contentment lies within my tail. Therefore, I am chasing it; and when I catch it, I shall have happiness!"
The old dog just nodded his wrinkled head, then replied, "My son, I, too, have paid attention to the problems of our universe. In my own weak way, I have formed some opinions. Like you, I have judged that contentment and happiness are fine things for a dog and that, indeed, happiness lies within my tail. But I have also noticed that when I chase it, it keeps running from me; but when I simply go about my business, it follows after me."
[abridged from These Times via Wit and Wisdom]
WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33)