Here are my thoughts, with no specifics. (True confessions belong in the confessional, not in my blog.)
Joy seems closely connected with:
· Family and friends: relationships.
· Productivity at work.
I’m not sure if this means that God comes most clearly in family and friends and work. At least I can say that I feel the most satisfaction or joy when these three areas are good.
Fear and Anomie seem closely associated with:
· Broken relationships: loneliness.
· Failed productivity—usually because what I want at the moment gets in the way.
Momentary pleasure is perhaps the chief enemy of joy. (This is a problem in a society that elevates having fun above all else.)
We are fearfully and wonderfully made: Gratitude.
· Memories: Rediscovering the past in my research (as I read about the history of BICWM)—my Dad’s memories; my own memories; the memories of other people in my past.
· Simple physical pleasure: To play soccer at 63—anything less than “Thank you!” is churlish. (So pleasure is not necessarily the enemy of joy!)
Doubt flows when I live too much in the moment and forget the rest of my life. Memories are good. Joy is good. Sometimes I find it hard to live simply in that goodness. Why do I so often not see with “the single eye”, remembering past failures and searching for a pleasure fix?
Joy comes in a balance of awareness of the past and living in the moment, neither demanding a pleasure fix nor wallowing in my bad memories. Joy comes from relationships—with God and with family and friends (God’s people)—nurtured with appropriate memories of love and care.