Last summer, a colleague of mine once asked why I smiled so much. He said that he’s “never met anyone who was always happy, always smiling….what [was my] secret?!”
He chuckled. I chuckled.
It seemed like his question was rhetorical with a tint of ‘kidding around’. One of those questions that you just put aside and giggle away with a shy “thanks”. The truth of the matter was, I really wasn’t as happy inside as I looked on the outside. At the time, I had just really gotten good at fake smiling to mask how I really felt. In fact my weekend before hadn’t been so grand because that was when I truly came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t really satisfied with where I was in my life: spiritually, financially, personally; I still had a long way to go, and I knew in my heart that I could do better, but didn’t know where or how to begin, hence the frustration I felt with myself. But my philosophy has been to act in faith how you really want to feel and your emotions will follow suit. “Feelings” are inconsistent reactions that should never serve as the bedrock of who you are, or what you believe about yourself.
So in the midst of my colleague and I’s chuckling, these thoughts were running through my mind, and a part of me really wanted to express the emotions behind the visible smile.
But alas, what came out of my mouth was the complete opposite. It was like I was having an out-of-body sensation where I wasn’t the one in control of the movement of my lips and the vibration of my vocal chords.
“Well…I smile because I’m alive today, and not many people have that opportunity – everything else is just extra.”
I was stunned.
He was silent.
I smiled, but this time it was genuine because I was aware of what just happened.
“Well said” he stated impressively. I said “Thanks…have a great day Steve”.
I walked away and under my breath whispered: “Thank you – Jesus”
You see, it was never about my current circumstances but rather the work He was doing in me, and for that I will be forever grateful that I get to live another day to manifest his complete and perfect work. And for that, I smile and smile and smile and smile…. 🙂