Life with Joy
Off the Wall, September
07, 2012

We all have our flips and flops, ups and downs and cuts and bruises. But through it all, there is a little curtain that opens up in our life that exposes little bits and pieces of joy.

I have been doing a lot of walking recently. Many people know that. Along the way, I have made many discoveries that I never knew existed. Each morning I look forward to seeing that part of nature, thing, or feeling I get when I come upon a certain place upon the hills of my hometown.

As I walked one morning, everything was perfect, the temperature, the sighting a rabbits in the grasses and the quietness of the stillness around me. That’s all I needed to spur an idea. I arrived at the conclusion that I decided I should send out one of my surveys to people across the world as to three things that make life worth living. As always, I made mention that I would not mention anyone’s real name when I wrote this story. And boy did I get the emails!

Before I reveal some of the many responses, I have to note just why I decided to do this story. I wanted to see how many people would choose God or something related to their faith as a primary answer. And actually, I was surprised if you can believe that.

Joseph Snopps from Turko, VT stated, “GOD, including the whole GODHEAD” as his number one pick, followed by his wife and his grandbabies.”

Julie Holtz, from Warren, OH picked music as her first choice followed by “Someone to love and love you back,” and third, “Love of nature.”

Darby Patrick of Muncie, FL listed her favorites as “(1) Faith in the Creator of Man and the Universe, (2) Hope in life after early existence, and (3) Love given to, and received from, family and friends.”Georgia Peach from Hardpit, MN mentioned as one of her choices, “Most of all, knowing that Our Savior has a better place waiting for me after I leave this life.” Jean Schallus from Pittsburgh responded by stating, first, “Jesus lives, the resurrection,” second, the Holy Spirit living within me,” and third, “my family.”

Kenneth Katura, Washington, D.C., disclosed, “Good health,” “good friends,” and “knowing God is looking over me.” Again, another correspondent answered “God,” “Family,” and “Purpose.” Kathy Markovitz, from Munich, Germany, listed her choices as “Dependence on God,” “Support of Family and Friends,” and “Knowing I’m here for one purpose and that is to give Glory to God in all I say and do.”

If I had any doubt about receiving emails that were more worldly and less religious, this proves that most readers do honor God as the highlight of their lives and at the same time give reverence to Him. In my opinion, that’s exciting. If others wrote their responses similar to my philosophy of loving God, many more people would be for and not against what I had to say. Of course, I wouldn’t be offended if only a few people wanted to mention God. Let’s sight a few more examples.

One could tell when Pat McKennzie from Marsdale, VA, answered my survey, she was very enthusiastic. She said, “There are so many things – family, including furred and feathered, friends, especially those who play volleyball, and nature.” Since she considered my survey “fun,” she added, “Too bad I can’t sneak a fourth one in…oh what the heck – Books!!!” Gee, I wonder how I can persuade her to buy my book???

Rita Grayling of Lingberg, AL noted “family, church and community” while Rich Earful from Baggels, OH found that music, Mass and dear friends is what filled his life with joy. Finally, Nat Sweetie, from Latrobe, numbered his picks as “Family,” “Beauty of Nature,” and “People.”

And now what everyone’s been waiting for – the “Pee Vee Three” – Witnessing on behalf of the Trinity, “Praising and worshipping God,” and “Delighting in the nature he created for us to admire.”

Now, I don’t have to add this one more thing, but I will. I will be turning 69 tomorrow. I thank God for giving me a life so rich in blessings and can only hope that in the days to come, I can not only introduce others to Him, but share in rejoicing of His presence and that of the Holy Family. May our spirits all be heaven-bound in the days to come.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.