My husband Bill and I are doing missionary work in Mazatlán, MX. As a part of our work here, I have assisted with serving sandwiches and water at the local dump.
The dump is quite a place! It is an almost unbelievable sight. Imagine thousands of bags of trash being opened and dumped daily for years. The repetitive dumping has resulted in trash mountains backing up to real mountains. Vultures and other predatory birds fly overhead. A peculiar putrid stench starts to assault your nose as you get closer to the entrance. Upon entering the dump, you see thousands of discarded tires. You wonder what will be done with all these tires as you note that the tire growth seems to be getting larger and larger daily.
A unique thing about the dump is the people who work on it. Most of the people who work there are adults. A few children (who should not be working at the dump) also work alongside their parents. Many people working on the dump have joyful and smiling faces. Also, I have noted the camaraderie that they display with each other. They appear to be in harmony with each other as they gather recyclables.
Here is speculation about why I see smiling faces on the dump. I think that they choose to be joyful. They smile at each other and at us. Perhaps they occasionally look up at the blue sky rather than looking down at the trash. Or possibly they are grateful to be alive.
Are you joyful? The basic definition of joy is “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness”. Does your joy depend on your circumstances? I encourage all of us to choose to be joyful. In the Bible, English Standard Version, the words joy, joyful, and rejoice appear 430 times. I hope that you have a day filled with joy.
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11