Our Natural State
In Orthodoxy, Chesterton wrote that most humans rejoice over the insignificant and despair over the essential. However, that isn’t the last word, Chesterton averred. “Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude . . . praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.”
Why does joy go deeper in humanity than pain? Because joy is at the heart of our relationship with God and was the basis of Adam’s initial walk with God. One day that joy will be restored as the basis of our redeemed walk. So often now joy lies manacled by the equivalent, or excessive, sorrows of life. And while we can hear joy shouting its existence, even while imprisoned, it will one day break free and embrace all the saved in its delight. Pain is a vicious interloper that will one day vanish. In the new world, free from restriction, joy will once again prevail, rippling like waters through stony heights.
You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have untied my sackcloth and encircled me with joy. – Psalm 30:11.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! – Philippians 4:4.