Passing Joy

Time for a quiz! Follow each instruction before scrolling down.

First, pick a number between 2 and 9.

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Multiply your number by 9.  What do you have?

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You should have a two digit number. Go ahead and add those two digits together.

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Okay, take that resulting number, and subtract 5.

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Whatever number you have now, convert it to a letter.  So 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, etc…

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Got your letter in mind?

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Think of a country that begins with your letter.

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Now take the last letter of that country, and think of an animal that starts with that letter.

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Got your animal?

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Take the last letter of your animal, and think of a color that starts with that letter.

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Ready?

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Are you thinking of an Orange Kangaroo from Denmark?

It’s scary how predictable we are. Here’s something else predictable: No matter how good your day is going, a bad driver can ruin it.

I was coming home one time from Marble Falls on 281. It’s a long, beautiful two-lane road through the rolling hill country of Texas.The speed limit was 70, so I was driving along listening to Christian music, looking at the bluebonnets, and just loving life. I came upon a white truck going 50. No problem. I’ll wait to pass. Here comes the dashed center line. Off I go. I started around him.

He sped up.

He sped up!

Okay, no problem.  I slowed down and pulled back in behind him. Hmm, I thought. He must have not realized he was going so slow, and when I started to pass he recognized his speed and now he wants to go 70. Sure! No problem. You’re 70 is just as good as mine, so I’m happy to follow along behind. The christian music was still on, so I was still worshiping.

We got back into the double line, and he slowed to 50.

What in the world?

I waited again. This time not as patiently.

At the next dashed line, I started around.

He sped up again.

I didn’t have time to pass. So I backed down.

By then, I was hot. The Christian music was still playing, but I wasn’t worshiping anymore. This time we went all the way down to 45. I had a right to go 70! He was keeping me from my agenda: “Driving the speed I want to go.”

I waited for another opportunity. These were rolling hills, so there weren’t many passing situations and they were short. But I didn’t care. Whatever it took, I was going to pass him on the next dashed line.

The moment came, and I gunned it.

I gunned it, he gunned it. Our country drive had turned into a full-blown street racing grudge match.

I finally got around him just in time.  I barely made it, and I was furious.  Furious!

And you know what? My response to that guy was completely predictable. I was having a great day until that guy bumped my world. His rudeness created a predictable response in me, and in the process, I completely lost my joy.

If we want to find joy, we are going to have to become less predictable.

Jesus said, true joy comes in ways you’d never predict. (Matthew 5:1-11)

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