Joy is a choice.

As we were handing out bags of food at the Red Bank Food Pantry, an elderly woman came through in an old pickup truck for her bi-monthly pickup.

I wonder what it must feel like to be her age and to not have the security of knowing you can pay for your next meal. Of course, I don’t know; she could have a million dollars stashed in the walls of her house! It’s happened before!

What struck me about this woman was the glow that seemed to emanate from the cab of her track as she slowly pulled through the line, stopping to laugh, talk and ask how every volunteer was doing. Her smile really was magical and can just imagine that it sprung from a very deep well of joy that she had cultivated over her life.

I don’t know why this woman caught my attention over the dozens of other passengers and cars that would pass through that day. I just know that she looked like the happiest person you could ever meet and she probably spreads joy wherever she goes.

I think most of us want to live our lives that way…full of life, laughter and happiness. While I didn’t get a chance to talk to her more, I can’t help but believe she has made a choice to be joyful.

There are so many negative things in this world vying for our attention, but there seem to be so few who choose this elusive path that puts smiles on so many faces, even when waiting in line for a bag of food that you may or may not have chosen for yourself.

It reminds me that joy is a choice just like walking with Jesus is a choice. The world may not help you, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t choose the better (joyful) way.

I hope I will be just like her when I grow up.

Pastor Mark

(FYI, if you want to know how I’m doing in this same area, as I walked over to Deidra at the same event; her loving comment to me was, ‘You really need to work on your resting face expression’. lol)

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