That word usually makes me laugh. Usually because it's describing something mind-boggling silly, unbelievable, or ridiculous. Doesn't it just bring a smile to your face, thinking about the word?
But, that word perfectly sums up my August. Ridiculously busy. Ridiculously draining. Ridiculously unmotivating. Ridiculously hard.
I can't accurately pinpoint why, but my Joy Tank-Bank (JTB - I'm officially coining it) has been on a steady depletion since the beginning of the month. Despite the incredible experience I had when I volunteered at my church's youth camp and all that God has done for me in Summer Sixteen; instead of inclining, my joy has been on a fast-moving decline.
An ugly word comes to mind: Comparison
I'm sure you've heard it in a motivational speech, seen it on the gram, or drank from a coffee mug with Teddy Roosevelt's famous words:
Comparison is the thief of joy.
But, honestly, I beg to differ. Have you ever had something stolen from you? More often than not, you probably weren't even aware of the theft until you noticed something was missing, right? It's not like you purposefully left your door unlocked and said, "hey..this one's on me...finder's keepers!" If you did, then you need to re-evaluate your life.
Comparison, much like happiness, is a choice. Comparison doesn't sneak in and steal my joy while I sleep soundly in the next room. It's my choice to look at another person's life and stack myself against him. It's my choice to keep score in the have's and have not's with her. When I choose to compare, I choose to leave the key in the lock of my JTB (Joy Tank-Bank). I grant full access to it. It's not stealing when there's an invitation.
Has anyone EVER experienced happiness amidst comparison? Nope. There are only two reasons why I find myself playing the comparison game anyway: 1) to see where I lack and fall short 2) to see where someone else lacks or falls short next to me.
And honestly speaking, both reasons do not stem from a healthy, joyful heart.
But there's hope. There is always hope.
The way to ward off comparison? G R A T E F U L N E S S.
A thankful heart takes my eyes off of my lack and puts it back on my provision. A thankful heart realizes that I have more than enough and that all my needs are met. A thankful heart can truly rejoice with others. A thankful heart is a ridiculously joyful heart.
"Shout with joy to the Lord all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise." Psalm 100:1-2, 4