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Poverty or Extravagance, which one brings the greatest JOY?

Last week, my wife and I took a vacation together to Nassau. We stayed at one of the most elaborate hotels I have ever seen. The entire trip spoiled us with "Excess." The interesting thing was the taxi ride to our hotel. Because of a large fire on the day we arrived at the airport, we took an alternative route that was vastly different from the Bahamas "dream" route along the coast and through the business district. Instead, we ended up in a poverty ridden area. What surprised me about the so-called "undesirable" area was the joy of the people. Most were out on the porch or playing in the streets. All seemed to be smiling and genuinely happy. How could this be? These folks did not have shoes! Didn't they know that only a mile away across the bridge was Paradise Island? Had they not seen the excess and incredible surroundings? Did they not know what they were missing out on?

Maybe, just maybe, they get it and we don't. "The JOY of the Lord is my strength." They find joy in spite of their surroundings while countless thousands looked for JOY because of their surroundings across the bridge. As I reflect on a wonderful time with my wife, one of my best memories will be the ride through the neighborhood of the less fortunate. That was a pretty amazing memory. Can anyone relate??

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