Born For This: Happenstance
Al Roker celebrated his 40th year on NBC this morning. On the Today Show colleagues current and past and many notable people spoke highly complementary words and congratulations for a long career, well-done. Many referred to his giving and selfless nature sharing the big difference such encouragement and welcome meant in their lives both private and professional. It was said Roker was all about others and not himself. Roker, a man of faith and prayer, commented on his good fortune saying he had the pleasure of working in a job he loved with people that he loved. I could see in him this morning a face full of joy.
In his excellent presentation, Pastor Lance contrasted happiness and joy. Happiness is based on circumstances – happenstance. If something goes my way or satisfies a particular want then I am happy. I think this is pretty much how most people on this planet operate. We seek happiness and we want to control our circumstances so we can be happy. The reality of life is there is little within our control. If this is so how can we ever hope to be happy in life?
The key is to seek joy, not happiness. I believe we will experience happiness along the way if we pursue joy and especially if we find joy. Al Roker seems to have found this in his career. To have worked 40 years and say you love what you do speaks volumes. What speaks even more is all his colleagues say he gave and he poured into the lives of those around him – he was about others. This is the mark of man who is filled with joy and not merely happiness. So if the key is to pursue joy where do we find it? The answer is told and retold - the Angels sing of good tidings of great joy. Jesus came for me; He came for all of us; He came for Al Roker. In Christ we are loved, we have purpose and meaning and we can be free to love others. This joy is not dependent on circumstances and transcends happenstance.
Christmas means many things to many people but what is or should be unmistakable is: for today, in the City of David there has been born, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Lance asked if we have felt ostracized, obscure or ordinary. We all have been here at one time or another. Folks who believe this of themselves or feel marginalized often have difficulty finding joy. The shepherds, after they had seen for themselves told others. Sometimes this is the only way one who has been ostracized, obscure or ordinary may find joy. These ones need to be shown the way. During this Christmas season and always, much like these humble shepherds, show the way.