Can we choose Joy?

On my documentary Lap Ngo World Painter I tell as story of Lap who fled the Indochina war in 1944 carrying his grandfather on his back among the explosions of mortars, he then sustained his whole family of 8 by painting portraits on the streets of Laos, later he married a diplomat and they lived 24 years in Africa. Lap saw the worst. Poverty, war, famine, but he chose to pain beauty. In every situation he faced he always looked for what was beautiful, and he painted that.

My last documentary Walker: Beyond Limits is about a 14 year old boy who became quadriplegic while playing football. Never done anything wrong, he was just enjoying the game he loves. And he was angry and depressed for over 2 years. But in the end he chose Joy.

No matter your situation, no matter how ugly, depressing, hopeless it may look, the Holy Spirit is INSIDE you and you can activate the Holy Joy of God in your life. It’s a choice. Not an easy one, especially when we are bombarded with bad news 24×7, when the future looks uncertain and everything around us seems to conspire against us.

Mr. Ziglar used to say “Motivation is like bathing. You have to do it everyday.”

And a Cherokee fable of the two Wolves sums it up:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do”.  James 1:2-8

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