The school at which I teach has within its list of core values that we want students to take JOY in their learning. I love this statement and this sentiment, and I am so happy (shall I say Joyful?), that those who crafted these statements have included this statement. Joy is perhaps a somewhat underused word, perhaps even somewhat old fashioned, but the concept of JOY is a wonderful one. Where we find joy is really where the Holy Spirit is at work and thriving in our lives. In addition, the affirmation of JOY in our lives is an affirmation that God wants us to live abundant lives. John 10:10 is one of my favorite verses, "I am come so that you may have life and have it abundantly." God does not want us to live lives of slavish service, but rather joyful lives of caring for ourselves, caring for one another and finding JOY and LOVE and Peace in life.
I had my students write an assignment on where they find JOY, and these were some wonderful papers to read - there was a wide variety of ways that students find joy, in family gatherings, running in the rain, making food, having a cup of tea with a mentor, playing sports, writing, reading, teaching, learning, watching zombie movies...you name it, they mentioned it -- and I find joy in reading these wonderful papers.
Then I ran across this quote from Mother Teresa, a sort of a different take on the quote attributed to St. Francis ("preach the gospel at all times, when necessary, use words"), Mother Teresa is quoted as saying:
Where do YOU find JOY?