Finding your Way – The Secret to Joy II

Finding your Way – The Secret to Joy II

In my last blogpost I shared about one of the secrets to Joy. It is inherently connected to childlikeness and trust. Today I want to shed light on another factor that influences our joy barometer in everyday life. And that has all to do with finding and walking out your way. Let me explain in more detail what that means.

Many people will know this familiar proverb: “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he not depart from it.” However, a lot of parents have applied this proverb in raising their children the way they want them to go, and our educational system has added its share by imposing a way every child ‘should’ go and perform. It has mass-produced little robots that can perform a range of set tasks. That’s the reality we live in and most of us have grown up under.

The original proverb, however, says this: “Train a child according to his way; even when he grows old, he will not turn away from it.” (Prov. 22:6) So what is the difference between how the proverb has been applied in our Western culture and between what it actually really means?

The Hebrew proverb advocates to train a child in his way: in his unique disposition, giftings, talents, interests, natural tendencies and passions, and once a child is fostered in his areas of natural strengths, he will grow into a stable person that knows and pursues his way. When you find and pursue your way, you will find meaning, purpose and a deep contentment and joy in life.

Unfortunately, for many of us, a set way has been imposed on us, and more often than not, that way does not correspond with our unique inherent design.

As a result, many of us are plagued by self-doubt and tossed back and forth in the valley of decision-making regarding which way to choose for our future. We are looking for guidance from the outside because we so desperately want to fit in, but we never really have the feeling we find our place in this world.

Many of us live the script that was imposed on us from the outside instead of being connected to our own uniqueness, passions, talents and propensities inside. When that is the case, you will find little to no joy in everyday life. You will drag yourself through yet another day, trying to meet the demands of that day and mainly experience life wearing out on you.

But even if you were bent to other people’s expectations so that your natural propensities have been covered up by external demands, it is not too late to find back your way, because you were born with a unique treasure inside of you, and it is waiting to be discovered and to be released into this world.



Knowing your passion, talents, and giftings is important to find joy and meaning in everyday life. If you live a life outside of what corresponds with your unique design, and if you live a life doing what is required of you instead of what you were wired to do, you will either try to find unhealthy pseudo-comforts that distract you from the searing pain that you don’t live life fully (think of entertainment, partying, having an affair, substance abuse and more), or wariness and resignation will settle in.

Author and speaker Les Brown says, “Most people die when they are 25, but they don’t get buried until they are 65!” One of the indications that something inside of you is buried alive is that you stop dreaming, you stop seeing possibilities, you have no desire to advance and grow, and you do what you do with weariness, indifference, or even disdain.

But you were created to dream and you were created to live your life to the fullest – and a key to experiencing joy and fulfillment is in finding your way – that what you are ‘wired’ to do.

If you were trained in someone else’s way, in society’s way, in the church’s code of conduct way, or your parent’s expectation way – you can still find back your own way, because as long as you have breath, that uniqueness, passion, talent and gifting is alive and it is waiting to be discovered and to be released. It might just take some digging and clearing out rubble to uncover that treasure you carry inside.

Ask yourself today where you live other people’s script and expectations. Take time to connect with the treasure you carry inside of you and find a starting point where you can release that treasure.

If you are looking for more hands-on tips on how to uncover this treasure, check out my free Ebook “Seven Keys To Abundant Living” here.


The Secret of Joy

The Secret of Joy

Today, as I was searching my library for an image for my blog, I came across some of the pictures I took during my time with Rolland and Heidi Baker’s ministry in Mozambique. Immediately my heart was filled with joy and with a longing to be back at that place. Why? Because I learned the simplicity of joy in Mozambique – and I learned it from the children.

Joy is a very profound life-giving energy in our lives and when we lose joy, life usually gets very dull. As someone who suffered from chronic depression for years, the concept of joy used to be something “out there” which I just could not fathom, and yet it was something I was longing to find in my life. I was told that joy is not the same as happiness, that joy was a decision you make and that happiness was dependent on circumstances. But no matter how much I “decided” to find joy irrespective of circumstances, I did not experience it. The issue was far deeper.

Joy is not a result of a decision you just make on the head level. Joy is deeply connected to childlikeness, and childlikeness is marked by trust. A child naturally knows how to live in the present, because that’s their whole universe. There is nothing beyond today, no worry, no care – and they don’t even know how to talk about two weeks ago or about the future. There is a wonder, a presence and awareness to what’s going on around them and they know how to live in the here and now.

One challenge we face as we grow up is that we lose our childlikeness and ability to trust. We become worry-ers. We learn to worry about the future and become future trippers. But we are told not to worry about tomorrow – tomorrow has enough issues of its own. We are given grace for one day, grace for today. The secret of joy is hidden in the restoration of our childlikeness and living in the grace of today. These are all issues of trust, and these issues are not resolved on a rational level by just ‘making a decision’. They need to be resolved on the heart level.

In one of my recent interviews with best-selling author Paul Young (The Shack) I gained more insight into the concept of living in the grace of today and the ability to experience joy. A year before Paul wrote The Shack, his business went bankrupt and he and his wife had lost everything: their business, their house, their car. As a family of six, they had to move into a tiny apartment and trust God for everything down to the next meal.

He remembers this time as one of the most joyful seasons in life. “When you live inside the grace of one day you don’t run away from joy,” Paul explained. “We are so geared to be future trippers. That’s what we do when we can’t trust, we create imaginations that don’t exist and we miss the grace that was given to us for today and we are not present in the here and now,” Paul shared. “I stopped being a future tripper and learned to be childlike and trust God to provide what I need one day at a time…”

Joy is inextricably connected to childlikeness and trust. Can you trust God that He is a good Father, that He provides what you need one day at a time? Can you let go of control and trust that God will do what he said he would do? Can you live in the grace of today and lay down the worry about tomorrow?

Joy is a key I have discovered in all great leaders I have met and interviewed over the past couple of years. They have joy not because they have nothing to worry about, but because they have learned to trust, to live in the grace of today, to enjoy the simple things of today that can easily be missed, and to be fully present in the here and now.

And then I’m back to the children in Mozambique. They enjoy the simple things of each day and their joy is contagious. If they get ‘chicken’ today, they are happy. If they just get rice and beans today, they are happy. They are happy with so little – and they enjoy the little so much.

I want to encourage you today to live in the grace of today and to see the wonder of the simple blessings around you. Enjoy what you have today – whether it’s little or much – and if you do that, joy will multiply.

You can be practical by taking a notebook or piece of paper and write down all the things you have today: starting from shelter, housing, food, health, relationships, a job, you name it…. You will see how your list of things grows from little to much, because they usually escape our awareness. And you will experience how joy multiplies. Let’s learn to live in the grace of today and let joy find a way to our hearts.

Also check out my free Ebook: Seven Keys To Abundatn Living

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