I’ve got a new term that I call “Just Around The Corner Syndrome”. It is a human disorder that causes people to believe happiness is always just around the next bend. For teens, the next party will be the one that makes them happy, or the next movie they watch, or maybe the next person they date. For adults, they sometimes believe the next job they land will bring the joy they seek, or maybe the next home they buy, or maybe a new family pet. Often, these joy-fulfilling ventures do not reap the rewards they are expected to bring about.
Now I am not saying that there are not people who truly love their new home, are excited about the jobs they have, or have favorite movies that they just can’t watch enough times. What I am saying is that I have met people who seem to never reach the pinnacle of joy they are seeking. Their joy is always based on what’s next. There contentment with life is always just one achievement away.
I believe God wants his people to have joy in their lives whether they find the perfect house, the perfect entertainment, or the perfect partner or not. Our joy should be found in knowing The Lord, walking with The Lord, and understanding God’s will for our lives. God has created us, instructed us, and offered His Son as a sacrifice for our sinful nature. We are to be joyful in our creation, our existence, and our gift of salvation. John the Apostle said, “I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John :4 (NIV). Shouldn’t the children themselves experience the same joy?
It is with all of this in mind that I have always been of the mindset that we should be joyful in The Lord whether we are taking our garbage out to the curb or purchasing our first new home. We should not believe that any “one” event or any “one” accomplishment will lead to the kind of joyful peace we experience when we come to know Jesus Christ as our personal savior. We have been shown the way to defeat death, to hold Satan and his henchmen at bay, and to know happiness on an intellectual plane not readily accepted by the rest of the world.
Happiness is not just around the corner. Joy is not just around the bend. Jesus is not hiding just out of reach. His word and His character are readily available to those that seek Him. If you know him, then joy is already in your heart. If you don’t know Him, read your Bible, get to know Him, and embrace the joy and contentment He can bring to your life.