I recently returned from a trip down south where I spent several days visiting friends and family. It was a wonderful time to reconnect with many people that I hadn’t seen since moving to New York about eight months ago. During the trip, I had the opportunity to continue to mull over a thought that I’ve been working on for a few weeks, and that is an idea that I’ll call “secret joy.”
One well known preacher, whose life’s theme is to preach the all surpassing joy that is found in Christ had some material on the idea of the natural urge to share what you delight in. Think of the grandmother who carries an extensive photo collection of her grandkids, and wont let a stranger leave without showing off her new grandbaby. Other examples are plenteous. We share music, books, pictures, movies, and stories with others, and generally, the only connecting theme is that we delight in all of these things. So while I agree with the author’s point, in that we highly esteem something when we want others to delight in it as well, I got caught up in a different level of thought.
What if there were certain joys and delights that we experienced, just for the sheer wonder of it? What if we saw a beautiful sunset, or stood at the edge of one of the eight “wonders of the world” and in doing so, had the opportunity to snap a picture, or take a short video to share with all of our adoring fans back home; What if we ate the most wonderful dinner and the finest restaurant in the greatest city in the world, with the greatest company we could ever ask for, and we didn’t document it, for our age of social media? Would it be ok? Would it be ok to have a paradigm-shifting, earth-shattering encounter with God through the Word and prayer, yet leave that experience, knowing this was a secret joy, known only to you and God?
I would like to submit to you that it’s not only ok, but it’s actually better. Not that there’s anything wrong with posting a ‘foodie’ or snapping a picture of that stunning sunset – I’ve been known to do both – but if that’s all you’ve got… where ‘what you see is what you get’ and there’s nothing deeper – no depth of soul through experiencing what cannot be captured by technology, I would contend that you’re missing out on the greatest joys in life.