I see the slogan #BestDayEver all over the place. There seems to be a certain amount of disagreement on what exactly constitutes the #BestDayEver. It comes up in commercials for traveling to exotic lands. I’ve seen it in conjunction with people who have just gotten married. One friend of mine used it when describing the day she received a job offer from a perspective employer. Another was all about the #BestDayEver when she found a pair of shoes she wanted on sale. I see it frequently in amusement park marketing. I even see the slogan accompanied by graphics of mouse-shaped ice cream bars, pretzels, and doughnuts.
So, what does make the #BestDayEver?
As much as I love amusement parks and the House of Mouse in particular, I have to suggest that a day at Disney, in itself, does not constitute the #BestDayEver. Shocking, perhaps, but there you have it.
I think we sometimes confuse fun, happiness, and joy. To determine the #BestDayEver, it might be useful to explore the differences between the three.
Fun is when you do a pleasurable activity. It could be traveling to a new vacation spot. It could be going to Disney World. It could be writing a blog. It could even be doing housework, if that is what floats your boat. Fun is great. It is still possible to be sad while having fun, however.
Happiness is what happens when you feel satisfied and content and light all over. Your world seems untroubled for the moment. The moon is in the seventh house and your planets are aligned. There is a line from a song from the play Wicked that says, “Happiness is what happens when all your dreams come true.” Happiness is wonderful. On the other hand, happiness is extremely fragile. It is dependent on external circumstances. The slightest turn of events has the power to turn happiness into grief.
Joy, on the other hand, is deeper and less transitory. Joy is about what completes you and fills your soul. It is all about the internal. It is the feeling of permanent peace, hope, faith, and love. It is about knowing that- no matter what is going on in the world around you, no matter what your immediate circumstances- your spirit is soaring, contented, precious, and beautiful. It is possible to be joyful, even when one is not having fun and even when one is unhappy. From my perspective, there is only one true source of Joy. That Joy that fills me and lifts me, even at times when life is neither fun nor happy, is the knowledge that, through Jesus, I am a cherished child of God.
Those of you who have been following along with my blog know that I have my dark moments. It is easy to see that I am not always having fun and I am not always happy. It might even seem like I don’t always feel the Joy. I think that, maybe, none of us will ever experience the completeness of Joy in this life. However, as I grow in wisdom, age, and favor, I get closer to the Joy. I get a little taste of what the bliss of Heaven will be. Maybe we develop our most authentic relationships with God and with our fellow souls by the constant effort to reach for the Joy each day. As I reach for it more and more, I find it more often.
I often think about what plans God has for me and what my purpose is in this life. I’ve talked before about my belief that my mission is to do ordinary things with extraordinary love. I hope, as I meander through life, that I can shine the light on the Joy for others so they, too, can get a little taste of that Heaven on earth.
So, what makes the #BestDayEver? Surely, it would be a day when I am having fun, feeling happy, AND experiencing Joy. Joy is the most important ingredient, though. A happy day doing something fun without Joy can never be the #BestDayEver. In fact, any day without Joy would be the #WorstDayEver!
What is joy for you? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a fun, happy, and joyful day!
EXTRA BONUS CONTENT If this blog struck a chord with any of you and you would like to learn more, I have an invitation for you. If you are in the Leesburg, Florida area and would like to explore some of the big faith-based questions of life in an open, non-judgmental, nonthreatening environment, please join us at the Alpha program at St. James Episcopal at 204 Lee Street in Leesburg.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey- some people are just beginning to question if Christianity is what they want, some people have been Christians, some people are agnostically curious, some people are regular churchgoers and just want to feel more grounded, passionate, and connected to their faith.
The program starts Thursday, 1/9/20 at 6:00pm with a dinner. After the dinner, there is a short video about some aspect of Christianity. After the video, we break into small groups where people can ask questions, talk about what they believe, and raise concerns about any aspect of faith or church. You can say anything you want, as long as it is said respectfully. You can also say absolutely nothing, if that is what you want. The program is free, including the dinner.