|Psalm 32:11- “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!.”
In 2020, the word we used was “unsure”. Contagion spread through the world.
Not all epidemics destroy health and steal life.
In 1962, in an all-girls school in Tanzania, a girl started laughing and could not stop.
A few more girls began and then, before long, 159 students could not stop laughing.
Six months later, the school closed because it could not be conducted with so much laughter.
It was an outbreak, something much like COVID-19, passed person to person until all were affected. It was not an epidemic of illness but one of happiness.
Everything spreads. Viruses do but so does joy
Paul knew about the pandemic called “joy.” Stuck in jail waiting transport to a final appeal to the Roman emperor, he had little to rejoice. Yet, he tells his friends in Philippi, who are concerned for his well-being, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
Why give a command? Isn’t joy a result of something, not an expression to be conjured out of thin air?
Paul doesn’t think so. It is something Christians can exude in the worst of circumstances. Joy does not depend on being able to go to the grocery store or enjoy a baseball game. Instead, joy flows from a heart that knows life is more than COVID-19 or any other troubles we face.
While these are tough times, start a new epidemic, at least in your house. Start an epidemic of joy.
Show it, speak it, and spread it. Perhaps, others will catch your joy.
-Robert G. Taylor-