When I was graduating from high school, my parents gave me a very special gift.

It was an expensive perfume called, “Joy” that was made with real roses.

It smelled absolutely divine and I wanted to savor the fragrance for as long as I could.

I would only use it very sparingly for special occasions, as I hoarded it in my bedroom, not noticing that little by little, it was evaporating.

I still have the bottle and there is still a scent in it but since it has been around since 1978, you can imagine, sadly, there isn’t much left.

Bummer that I didn’t wear it more often, enjoying that beautiful aroma and sharing a whiff with others as we enjoyed a conversation or took in a special event.

What a metaphor for life.

Joy, kept to oneself is such a terrible waste, isn’t it?

I have learned from that incident and many others that joy is a gift from God and it should never be conserved nor saved for a special occasion.

When joy is present, it should be immediately put to use since it will benefit everyone it touches and if ignored, will evaporate.

It should be shared extravagantly and shamelessly, in the same way the woman in the gospels poured an expensive oil on Jesus with total abandon, despite the disciples admonition that she was being wasteful.

Scripture tells us that a joyful heart is good medicine, that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy, that it is one of the fruits of the spirit.

It should never be squandered because there is always a fresh supply if we know where to get it from or rather ‘who’ to get it from.

So, I strive to put down the camera and enjoy the moment.

Dance when the music plays even if I have two left feet.

Walk home in the rain without the umbrella.

Laugh at my mistakes and make every person feel that just seeing them has brightened my day.

And most of all to sit at the feet of the one of whom it is said:

“You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” Psalm 16:11




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