1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God�s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

We should always find joy in our relationship with The Lord. For The Lord provides for all our needs. It should lead us to a state of thankfulness no matter what our circumstance knowing that God is watching after us as one of His own children.

Blooming where you're planted has never been a problem for Los Angeles elevator operator Ruben Pardo. For 35 years, he has driven and steered one of the last manual elevators in the city, located in an Art Deco office building on Wilshire Boulevard. His life is simple, some might even say mundane. But his purpose is clear and his heart is full of joy and gratitude.

Every day young, bright graphic designers, web branders, and search engine optimizers ride Pardo's beautifully ornate elevator to their loft offices. And every day, Pardo greets them by name with cheer. While young employees come and go, Pardo is a fixture in the building. One young executive said, "He's been in this elevator longer than I've been on the planet."

Pardo, the son of a shop owner, was born in Mexico City. When he was seven, his family moved to the States. Through hard work like painting garages, shoveling snow, and operating elevators like the one he still manages, he was able to support himself, and eventually, his wife. Pardo works six days a week and rarely takes paid vacations. Every Sunday, he takes his wife to dinner as a gesture of gratitude. Padro exclaims, "[My wife and I] are happy."

While the young people in the office building move off to school, get married, and travel the world, Pardo remains steady and constant, doing the thing that he's done for 35 years. "I love my small, little world," he says. And yet here's how Luis Zavala, a 33-year-old Web graphic designer, describes Pardo: "It's like a glass of fresh water every morning. I don't know how he does it, but every day for him just seems to be a bright opportunity for something." [Bonnie McMaken, Wheaton, Illinois; source: Nita Lelyveld, "Elevator operator's overriding story: joy." Los Angeles Times (10-15-11)]

Many of us try seeking out things to make us happy, but things do not bring us lasting joy. For tomorrow there will always be a new and better cell phone or a digital gadget that captures our attention. No, things are not the answer to joy. The answer is a close and intimate relationship with The Lord for He will show you how to find joy in all things, even the simple things like running an elevator.