In John Cougar Mellencamp’s 1982 hit, “Jack and Diane,” the famous chorus says, “Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.” I always thought it sounded very jaded and hard, like, “Why is your outlook so bleak? What happened to your thrill?” I said I’d never lose my thrill of living because I had breath in my lungs, Jesus in my heart and everything I need.
Well, just as Mellencamp’s bleak words reflect an older, more experienced outlook on life, my optimism reflected a youthful naiveté. I believe that as a Christian, I should live my life joyfully. I am saved, I am redeemed, I am forgiven and I am loved by the Master of the entire universe. The same God who puts the thrill in every child is the same God who looks after me every day, protecting me and guiding me. What’s not to be joyful about?
But it’s hard to always feel thrilled to wake up and go to a job that I have come to hate. It is hard to realize that my first job, which showed so much promise in the beginning, is a joy-stealer every day. It’s hard when my beautiful home that I love and have worked so hard to make comfortable is a messy pig-sty that I am embarrassed to let my mom see. It’s hard when it’s 102° outside and my lawn needs mowed… or lately, when it’s 18° outside and raining, and I still have to go get groceries. Life is hard! Growing up is hard and being a responsible adult is harder! Why, why doesn’t my savings account grow like my budget projected it would?
You know what? Sometimes, my thrill of livin’ is gone, but life goes on anyway. Life still demands that I mow my yard, pay my bills, and eventually, put the laundry away. Life forces me to go on, keep working, keep pushing through the drudgery.
My God is good. Although there is a lot of drudgery to being on my own, He still knows how to thrill my spirit. This afternoon, as I jogged to my mailbox in an attempt to get just a little more exercise, I looked up to see one of the most startling and unique cloud formations I’ve ever seen at 4:00 in the afternoon. God was in those clouds. God is in my exercise, in my leftover dinner and even in my bills. God is in my bank account, miraculously keeping my balance above zero.
I Googled “joy in the Bible” and found a website that sums up joy in the Bible better than I ever could: http://www.igreetyou.com/JoyVerses.html. I encourage you to take the time today, this week, to find what thrills you. Make a list if you’d like. Allow the joy of being the Father’s little girl fill you with a thrill when life goes on.