By G.P. Avants
“The Joy of the Lord is our strength.”
Have you ever had a friend that was happy in any and every situation? The bounce round yelling, “Happy, Happy! Joy. Joy!” hey don’t let anything get them down, even when the world around them is crashing in. What in the world do they have that the rest of us don’t? Is it real or is it just a surface kind of joyfulness?
In the Pixar movie, Inside Out we meet a character simply named Joy. She is one of the little emotions that live inside the head of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. We get a rare glimpse into a child’s first moments, when Joy is first experienced in Riley’s first moments on Earth. You could say that Joy is her defining and central emotion. As Riley grows she experiences Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear. They make up the very make up of who Riley is in her emotional life. They form a tight little family with Joy as the matriarch whose prime goal is to make Riley happy every waking, and even sleeping moment.
It is a great arrangement until Joy and Sadness, who don’t understand the other, are lost in Riley’s mind. She is moving away from the only home she knows, best life-long friends, and her memories that are as precious as gold. Joy is beside herself. Riley is not happy, in fact her emotions are turned inside out. Riley is learning how to take on an unfair world outside of her little comfortable zone. How she handles these soon to be pre-teen years, will test her family and relationships inside and outside of her head.
Without giving away too much of this great film, it really is deeping of Joy that fascinates me. Joy learns about life below the surface. Where many might have called Riley’s joy, child-like, shallow, and dependent on circumstances, we see the true nature of those emotions God has given us. Emotions are an area of our life that need to breath and grow like all the other areas of our life. When they are stifled, it can throw the rest of our life into unhealthy turmoil. As believers, we learn that the joy Christ gives us is based on our faith in Him. The world around us can be thrown into chaos and bring us down, but it doesn’t have to devastate us.
Happiness is temporary, but joy is eternal. When we see where our hope should be, then the Joy inside us truly has a reason to spread its wings and fly.
Please come and join us for a special showing of Pixar’s Inside Out on Friday May 12th from 6-9PM at Venia Church. 41831 Mcalby Ct b, Murrieta, CA 92562. Bring the whole family to this emotional event.