Joy = Freedom?

For years, faith has reminded me of Jacob wrestling with God/the angel. What is the point of faith, after all? Isn’t it to challenge us to become better than we would be without it? If the point of faith is to pat us on the head and tell us how we’re saved and forgiven and we’re blessed in temporal terms because we’re saved—well, I would submit that what we’re actually worshiping isn’t God at all, but our own comfort.

But where does that leave “joy”?

Joy = Transcendence

“We focus too much on fun, and not enough on joy.” I heard these words from a man receiving an honorary degree at my local university this weekend. And I thought, “Well, God, when you have a lesson you want me to learn, you are not subtle, are you?”

Stuff ≠ Joy

Sometimes it feels like railing against consumerism has become downright cliché. But things become cliché for a reason. Here’s another cliché: when we spend hours picking out a host of presents for a kid, spend a ton of money on it, and what they find most interesting is the box. We all recognize the truth …