What Do We Have?
If you’ve never heard this song, you really should play the video I’ve posted above and check it out. It’s a great song with, I think, some interesting material for reflection and consideration.
My favorite line in this song is, “What you want, I ain’t got. What I have can’t be bought.” (And no, I don’t just like it because I’m a Southerner and it has the word “ain’t” in it.) This song is about a person who is searching for something more in life and the other person, the Christian, is trying to tell the one searching that Jesus will fulfill his/her needs. It is in this context that the artist says this line. It makes you stop and think: Just what is it that we, as Christians, have that others might be in need of? I have my own idea (which, of course, isn’t the only answer).
Because of our relationship with and faith in Jesus Christ, we Christians have hope and joy in the midst of a world that is full of so much uncertainty and pain and is (more often than not) spinning out of control. And this hope and joy which fill us are beyond material worth…they “can’t be bought”.
I’ll never forget my Physical Science teacher from my freshman year of high school. One day, I walked into his class (my first one of the day), sat down, and he immediately said to me, “Taylor, are you joyful?”. I was in a bit of a snippy mood and wasn’t feeling much of anything except crabby, so I said, “Nope.”. “Why not?” “Um…because I watch the news? There’s nothing much to be joyful about today.” And man did I get a talk after that. My Physical Science teacher, being a Protestant preacher, liked giving me sermons. He proceeded to tell me that world events had nothing to do with whether or not I possessed the interior joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ and believing in Him. He was, of course, quite right (not that I admitted that to him). When I told my friend Annie about this, she kind of laughed. Then I got another lesson. She told me that my problem was that I’d mixed up what it means to “be happy” with what it means to “have joy”. “Happy”, she told me, is the emotion you might have when something pleases you and it passes away when something displeases you. “Joy”, on the other hand, is more of an interior disposition. So, you might not always “be happy” (since stuff happens) but you can always “have joy” (because of your faith in Jesus Christ).
Once again, I’d been schooled.
But I’m so glad that I was told that. All too often, I do mix those things up and I do forget what a gift it is to truly have that interior joy which comes from loving Jesus. So let’s not take that for granted and keep it to ourselves! As Christians, we are called to freely give away what we freely receive. Let us, then, empty ourselves for others and show them the joy of Christ in our daily lives.
Posted on July 19, 2012, in Living as a Catholic Teen, Reflections and tagged church, difference between joy and happiness, happiness, hope, is there a difference between joy and happiness, joy, religion, save your life, save your life newsboys, song reflections, spirituality, what do christians have, what do christians have to offer, what is happiness, what is joy, what is the difference between joy and happiness, where does joy come from. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.