My granddaughter McCail is smiling at me now. Well, sometimes. But I can usually get a grin from her and when she smiles, it makes my day. I’ve learned, as you have, that smiles have that effect on people. (Especially grandfathers). One place you can go and get a guaranteed smile is the wonderful, “magical” place a couple of hours to our south called “Disney World.” Disney World’s motto is that they are “the happiest place on earth.”
That’s a tall order to fill. Especially since I’ve BEEN to Disney World and it is most assuredly NOT the happiest place on the planet. In fact, it can be a downright UNHAPPY place to be, especially if you have two or three unhappy children in tow. You know, the ones who no matter what they see, what you buy, what they eat or drink; there is always something they want that you haven’t gotten to. Happiness.
But the employees of Disney, from the umbrella salesperson to the poor kid locked inside a hot costume all day, are commanded to smile. That’s right. No matter how they feel… SMILE. Smile at the unhappy, whiny children and their stressed, now bankrupt parents. Smile. Smile and the whole world smiles with you, right? According to Walt Disney, YES.
There is some science to back that up. When you smile at someone, they will almost always smile back at you. Try it for yourself. Walk through your office, your school classroom, your team meeting smiling. Everyone will wonder what you’re up to. But I guarantee, if you look some of those folks in the eye while you’re doing it, they will automatically respond with a smile in kind.
I wonder sometimes even at church if we would make more of an effort to smile at folks, if their experience would be remembered as happier. Would that make a difference in a person’s life who came to the campus bearing burdens that are overwhelming? Probably.
Wouldn’t it be great if our reputation was “the happiest church” people have ever attended? Maybe the Gospel could be shared more easily, not with a scowl…
…but with a smile?
FOR MEDITATION: The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
FOR REFLECTION: Could you turn your life upside down today… with a smile?