There are times I would define my happiness in terms of what make me different from others. Being able to take beautiful and frame-able pictures makes me happy. I am not a professional photographer but I do have an eye for a picturesque scene and some talent in composition. I am not among the best but I have taken some excellent photos. I find myself happy enjoying the things I have accomplished in life. I may not have done as much as many of my friends but I have definitely been more blessed than most. Defining my happiness in terms of what makes me different from others can be very unsettling. Somehow, it does not feel right.
True joy is rooted in our commonality with one another. It is our similarities that make us a community and it is in community where true joy is, for that is where we discover our true humanity. We are all in the same boat. We are all fragile, wounded and broken. True joy is in knowing that all our pains and sufferings can be shared and divided among all of us. And this joy is multiplied many times over when shared in community. And then, there is the ultimate realization that the Lord is in the boat with us. He is Emmanuel, God with us. In the boat. During the storm. And He can calm the storm and heal our woundedness and brokenness with His words, “Quiet! Be still!”