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Joy (from Crave: Wanting So Much More of God)

Joy (from Crave: Wanting So Much More of God)

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Published by Chris Tomlinson
This chapter is titled “Joy,” and it’s all about just that: joy. Did God create joy for us, or us for joy? Or both? Jesus tells us He means for us to be filled with joy, but I’ve found that joy is not the destination; it’s just a signpost along the road to our real destination: Jesus.

You can find more at: http://cravesomethingmore.org
This chapter is titled “Joy,” and it’s all about just that: joy. Did God create joy for us, or us for joy? Or both? Jesus tells us He means for us to be filled with joy, but I’ve found that joy is not the destination; it’s just a signpost along the road to our real destination: Jesus.

You can find more at: http://cravesomethingmore.org

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Published by: Chris Tomlinson on Dec 28, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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12/28/2009

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Joy:
Why God Isto Be Treasured
Kids with no shoes smile more than kids with shoes.I know that sounds de nitive, as i I know or certain that it’s true. I actu-ally haven’t conducted a ormal study on the topic, so I guess stating myconclusion so directly could be misleading. But I suspect it’s true, and I’llexplain why in a moment.But beore we get to that, consider how ridiculous my statement seemsat  rst glance. Shoes are great; they are comortable and ashionable and
eective at protecting our eet. Personally, I haven’t ever gone without
shoes or an extended period o time, and I consider mysel a pretty happy
person. So why would a kid with no shoes be happier than me?
Presumably, a number o humans walked the ace o the earth beore shoes
were invented. Ater all, the traditional interpretation o God’s response toAdam and Eve’s sin was that He ashioned garments rom animal skinsand clothed their bodies; it says nothing o Him making slippers out o 
little bunnies. And today, I f nd mysel, a remote descendant o Adam and
Eve, wearing shoes. So someone along the line between them and memust have been the  rst person to wear shoes.
 
CRAVE
Whoever this pioneer was, he or she must have elt as i this was the world’sgreatest invention. Imagine yoursel spending the better part o your youthwalking across hardened soil and rocky paths and hot sand and cold clay, allin bare eet. You would not think much o it because you would have always
walked around in bare eet, just like everyone else. In act, you would notthink o eet as being bare at all; you would simply think o them as eet.But as you slipped into that rst pair o uzzy slippers or cushioned cross-trainers, or even a shard o animal skin with a vine or straps, imagine thesmile that would slowly spread across your ace.You would take your new shoes and walk through the mud and nd your
eet still clean and dry. Or you might venture out through the desert under
the height o the sun’s gaze without jumping rom one oot to the other.Perhaps you would shove a riend and then run into a eld with thornyunderbrush just to see i he would chase you.
Eventually, you would stop relishing the act that you were the only person
on the planet with a pair o shoes, and you would help your riends or
your mother or your cousins make their own pairs o shoes. And as youwatched them test out their new eet on the rocky path, you would seesmiles spread across their aces. This would make you smile even more.Soon enough, your entire village would be walking around in shoes, andeveryone would be smiling. Fewer people would have cuts on their eet,and more work could be done to make the village a better place in whichto live. The world would open up to you just a bit more, and perhaps youwould take a long trip to a village you had never visited beore. You and
your happy riends would embark, striding confdently and comortably
along your path regardless o what lay beneath your eet.
Eventually, you would come to a village, and you would walk to the centero all the huts, and you would notice that the people, although riendly and
 
 Joy 
welcoming, were not smiling as much as you and your riends were. Thiswould make all the sense in the world to you because they did not haveshoes. While you were there, you might show them how to make shoes,and you would see them smile, and this would cause you to smile even
more. And the act that you were continuing to smile more and more would
make you smile still more; the joy in smiling would perpetuate itsel.
Near the end o your lie, as you looked back on all you had accomplished,
you might even consider the experience o inventing shoes to be your
greatest achievement. You would think o the hundreds or thousands
o people who had improved the quality o their lives because o your
discovery. And as you breathed your last ew breaths, an enormous grin
would spread across your ace, revealing the happiness that came to your
lie through shoes.So when I say that kids with no shoes smile more than kids with shoes,
it’s clear that history, at least my version o history, would tell us otherwise.
But I still think it may be true.I’ll tell you why. When my riends and I were in Burkina Faso, we traveled
each day rom the capital city, Ouagadougou, to a rural village called Saonre
where the orphan center was located. When we arrived at the center onthe rst day, we ound scores o little children, some o whom had tornclothing and most o whom were without shoes.As we slowly climbed out o our vans, these children gathered around usin a semicircle, staring at us quietly, lips drawn tightly into stoic poses. Welooked back at them, not knowing exactly what to do or say. A momento awkwardness hung in the air. But then someone in our group wavedto them and smiled. And a hundred little teeth shone back brightly in themorning sun.I have never seen kids smile so big. Or so much.

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