There is a verse in the hymn Give Me Oil In My Lamp which is all about Joy. When I started looking for the words I cam across several different versions, give me joy keep me praising and so on, but the one that I remembered and was looking for was give me joy keep me singing.
After a little bit of poking around I found the words that I remembered from my childhood.
"Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.
Give me joy in my heart, I pray.
Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.
Keep me singing till the break of day."
Singing is for me such a joyful thing. When I was a child there was often singing going on at home. Not that any of us were or are the greatest singers, that didn't stop us bursting into song and we still do occasionally, and I often sing when I am alone at home or in my car.
I feel so sad when I hear people singing hymns or songs that are about joy and they sound so flat and dull and totally unjoyful. Music is one of the greatest joys in life I think.
Joy is the extra sparkle on top, the froth that makes champagne better than sparkling wine, the shine on the cherry on the top of the cream on top of the cake. The topping on life that makes everything just a bit better and bit more fun, nicer and happier and more wonderful.
It is the pure pleasure in the moment. The time when good feelings just spill out of us over the top of everything else - like those champagne bubbles!
When my husband comes home, I feel Joy, when I finish a crochet project, I feel Joy, when I see my loveliest friends, I feel Joy, when I receive another unexpected Christmas card through the post, I feel Joy.
Last week I wrote about Hope and we all agreed that without Hope there would be little or nothing in life, and of course we need Hope, but we need Joy on the top of that too. It is what takes us from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Yesterday I was at a - very dull and for the most part I wished that I missed it, there was no joy! - Christmas dinner. One thing though filled my heart with Joy.
There was a young man sitting a couple of seats away from me, he was asked what he was doing for Christmas this year. He explained that he was having a homeless man that he knows to visit for the day and that for Christmas he has bought him a great gift. A really good quality thick sleeping bag and a pop up tent.
As the young man spoke he was so full of Joy to be doing this, I do hope that it brings Joy to the homeless man and it certainly bought Joy to my heart to hear this. If you had just judged this young man by his cover you would not have expected this, but dig a little deeper and it is a different story.
It gave me great Joy to think that there is good in the world, and in the young who we don't necessarily give the credit for being so good.
So this week, perhaps we can all do something to spread a little Joy in the world. Wish someone a Happy Christmas, or a good day, give someone a hug, send that unexpected Christmas Card or a letter, do something unexpected and spread Joy in the world!
Thank you all for bringing me great Joy!!