Life Lessons

Toot if you’re happy


Enroute to work there’s a dedicated man, rain or shine, always holding a placard promoting or protesting on something political. And always asking you to toot in support. On Friday though, he was joined by another person with a simple placard – “toot if you’re happy”. As I approached the man in my car, I tooted! I was happy. And by the sounds of the toots around me, so were a lot of others.

After I passed the man, having tooted my horn, I continued to contemplate the statement “toot if you’re happy”. Happiness is something that comes and goes. And I wouldn’t say that every moment of every day it is something that I am. To be in that state reminds me of the Cheshire cat with a huge grin on his face no matter what life was dealing out.

Joy on the other hand, seems a lot more sustainable and attainable. Something that we can have in our lives constantly.

Joy is defined as a “triumph, cheerful and a calm delight, a deep feeling of contentment.” Some have described it as “the feeling of grinning inside.” It is something that should reside beneath the surface. Joy is not happiness which is a feeling and comes and goes. It is also not based on our circumstances. As Richard Wagner once said “joy is not in things, it is in us.” As Christians we have access to a joy that exists regardless of what our circumstances are like. Jesus said “I have come that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10) Furthermore, joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and therefore it should be one of our characteristics and evident in our lives.

I recalled the Sunday School songs that we sang about joy.

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart! I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Down in my heart to stay

Joy is the flag flown high
From the castle of my heart
From the castle of my heart
From the castle of my heart
Joy is the flag flown high
From the castle of my heart
When the King is in residence there

Don’t get me wrong, I love being happy and often am! And I did change the song I was listening to, to Pharrell Williams – Happy for the rest of my trip into work. It’s great being happy! But even better being full of joy!

“For the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

 “May the God of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ (Romans 15:13)

2 thoughts on “Toot if you’re happy

  1. Loving it! Yes, joy and happiness, people often interchange them but the meaning is different. May we all be happy but more importantly may we all have joy.

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