Thursday, November 3, 2016

Celebrating Someone Else's Joy

Over the last 10 days or so I have become a World Series watcher. I typically don't like watching baseball unless I know someone who is playing. I attended more than my share of Pee Wee through Little League games when my boys were playing and John was coaching, and I enjoyed every game. But when it comes to the big leagues I've never gotten into it - until the Cubbies made the World Series. I guess just because Chicago is close and the Iowa Cubs prepare players for the Cubs sometimes, I was interested in the Series this year. And maybe because it was so long-awaited.

By watching the games, and hearing John's play-by-play commentary, I got to know some of the players and learned some insider tips on pitching, batting, and fielding. We had a good time cheering on the Cubs. It was a good Series with both teams having some great days and coming down to a tie and extra innings during the final game. It doesn't get much better than that.

I can't help but feel a little guilty for celebrating with the Cubbies as just a part-time or fair-weather fan. There are folks out there who have been waiting for this World Series win for decades. They can tell you everything you want to know about every player and probably every game the Cubs have played. They deserve this joy. I do not.

Real joy comes from a consistent, on-going relationship with Jesus Christ. My study Bible says in the footnote to John 15:11, "true joy transcends the rolling waves of circumstance". I have struggled to feel that real joy all of my life. The chronic depression I live with seems to place a cap on my joy, preventing it from truly sinking in to my being and becoming part of my soul.  I know it is Jesus with me who helps me walk through the darkest days.

Jesus said, "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete," (John 15: 9-11 NIV).

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