“Live your life filled with joy and thunder.” This was the line of an REM song that got Ryan Dueck thinking about the possibility of joy amidst the thunder of life. Karl Barth reportedly remarked that joy is a “defiant nevertheless.” When the thunder rolls, as it inevitably will, we may choose joy by proclaiming nevertheless! Joy is a choice — albeit an unnatural one — but it is always an option worth choosing.
“‘Choose joy’ is one of those expressions that probably plays better on Pinterest than it does when the thunder is rolling. But I think it expresses a pretty deep and important truth about the dignity of being human. We can rise above our circumstances. We can refuse the final victory to those things that can so easily pull us under. “