The second thief to our joy is Commotion.
By commotion I simply mean the hurry and busyness and noisiness of life. It’s partly the fast pace and partly the sheer amount of voices and screens and things competing for our attention. Jam-packed calendars, never-ending advertisements, constant notifications, the tyranny of the urgent. I think author Charles Hummel got it right when he said, “Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important things”.
That’s what I mean by Commotion. And commotion like that affects our ability to be joyful because we miss things.
I heard an older man jokingly describe his first thought when his kids signed him up for a social media app. “My kids got me hooked on this thing,” he said, “it connects you with ten million billboards. And it’s absolutely addicting...at least for a week or two”. His comment stuck with me because it’s true. Social media has it’s redeeming qualities for sure, but in a lot of ways isn’t it just ten million more billboards? Selling us on what the good life is and what will bring joy.
I think Jesus was up to something when he talked about silence and solitude. When he talked about prayer and knowing the Father’s voice.
When God is working in someone’s heart to shape them into a person who “rejoices always”, one clear marker is that they know God’s Word. Not just memorizing verses or winning Bible trivia, but they know what God says about life. They consult God’s wisdom on everything. In every situation, in every season, just simply throughout their day they invite God into it all.
In today’s verse, Psalm 19:8 David wrote, “The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commandments of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.”
David, who wrote more about joy than just about anyone in the Old Testament drops a lot of wisdom in this chapter. He calls God’s Word perfect, trustworthy, true, more desirable than gold, sweeter than honey, and that it brings JOY to the heart.
How can we experience that joy? It sounds like we’re going to have to trade some commotion for some devotion. Trade some noise for some quiet reflection. Trade the billboard voices for the voice of our loving Father.
Make those trades and you will start experiencing lasting joy.
What is contributing to the commotion in your head and heart right now? How has that affected your ability to be joyful? Take time to read Psalm 19 and meditate on it’s truths.