Waiting for the Smile
Today was something of an unusual day. Janet is out of town and I have been deep in thought the last week – since we returned from Williamsburg. Some of it is getting back in the grind of the work world but there is a part of my mood that goes much deeper than that. I guess in some ways, I am mourning the loss of Janet’s mother. Her death brings back memories of the loss of my own mother and as I have said in the past, I knew my mother-in-law ten years longer than I knew my own mother! I have been trying to wrap my brain around how long I knew Nancy and the stories have been flooding back into my mind all week.
On top of all that, I have been consumed with trying to catch up on all the work that has built up since I left for Hawaii. And, truth be told, I am glad to be back in town and off the road. I can leave for several days at a time, but then things get a little far behind and the cost of catching up tends to diminish the joy of my time away.
Additionally, this week is full of doctor appointments and most of you may remember that I am not a very good patient and so I am consumed with making sure that everything gets behind me as soon as possible – with good reports, of course. So I am sure that it comes as no surprise that all these things combined have brought me to a place of being rather introspective. I have come up with several strategic initiatives for one of my clients and have worked diligently to set the stage for growth at another. To be sure, there hasn’t been much to smile about these last several weeks, although for a short time this morning, I was telling stories about my childhood and had a few of my friends in stitches.
Then, all too soon, it was back to reality and apparently, the smile left my face. I really haven’t thought too much about outside appearances lately. I have been devoting all my energy to the things going on in my brain – forgetting about how I might look to the outside world. Anyway, I was leaving the office of one of my clients and heading to the parking lot. I had my head down and was lost in thought. I walked across the driveway and into the lot. A car had just pulled out of a parking space, getting ready to drive out on the street. But then the driver, a woman, stopped and just sat there.
I was getting a little impatient, waiting for her to move so I could continue on to my own car. But she didn’t move a muscle – just sat there in the hot sun. Not on the phone, or distracted in any way, just sitting there smiling and looking at me with some weird grin on her face. Finally, I looked up and invited her to go in front of me. She looked directly at me, I smiled at her, and as she started to roll past, she put the window down and announced, “I wasn’t going to leave until I saw you smile….” I almost chuckled out loud.
So, my mood was much better throughout the rest of the day. I guess that I need to keep things in perspective and make sure that I keep putting that smile on my face. The Bible even mentions the need to smile. And it happens in one of the most serious books in the entire Scripture. This particular verse happens to come at a time when Job is questioning how he would stand up to God’s interrogation of him. Job has just thought about the awesome nature of God and how grand God is in the scheme of things. He says, in Job 9:27, “If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile…”
There’s more to the passage, but you get the idea – that changing your expression is something that is within your control and can alter the way that you think about your entire day. That’s what happened to me! My encouragement this evening is to make sure that you realize how much your disposition can impact others. My prayer is that you will find reasons to smile – after all, even when things look a little gloomy, God loves you. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…