What is joy? Is it a choice? Is it a feeling? Are you born with it?
We can tell you about our experience and what we have observed by watching people that push themselves mainly through endurance events. They ALL seem to have joy.
Typically, the joy isn't observed while they are in the suck of it all, but it is always there after the trial. You can find people that have been through the ringer, seriously difficult circumstances or have pushed themselves past what they thought was possible and there it is... joy. Why is that?
We've observed many incredible feats because of where Salty Britches® has taken us. These communities are slap full of chafing and our mission is to stop it. Turns out while on that journey, we've encountered a lot of joyful people. Joy seems to be a commonality in people that CHOOSE to push themselves, do hard things and exceed their preconceived limits. We have been around tons of people in these environments. Not once have we found someone from these communities that seems depressed.
The Bible has a ton to say about this. For example, check out Romans 5:3-4, James 1:12-18, Hebrews 10:36, James 1:2-4, James 1:12, Colossians 1:11, Romans 12:12, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 12:1-3, James 1:4, Romans 15:4-5. Our would is fallen. There are tragedies, and humans that do terrible things. Our most precious and innocent have suffered and died at the hands of evil. We don't know the stats, but we would venture to guess that the ones that choose to do evil deeds have not attempted to test their endurance or been a part of a community that does. How many times have you heard "Trail running saved my life." How many times have you seen people that transition to civilian life from military life do it by focusing on their endurance or running? How many people that are sedentary by choice seem to be full of joy? How many that let excuses that they justify to keep them from moving, seem joyful?
Kids that run around and play, are full of joy! Animals that run, jump, and exercise actually appear to be smiling! Movement can bring out the joy!
Moving, exercising, and sweating is HARD. But, it's so worth the joy. It's worth the friendships. It's worth the healthy side effects. We don't pretend to have the answers to it all. But we know for sure, those that are putting in the work are finding their joy. They feel better despite the aches and pains. That joy is contagious.
"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had" Romans 15:5. That's something to chew on when you lace up and go on your walk or run! Want to feel better, get out of the slump? Move and find your JOY.