I am sure we’d all agree that having a cheery disposition is a good thing. Sometimes it is hard to maintain that attitude in the face of despair or frustration. However, having a positive outlook is always a good goal to have.
In a previous vocation, I worked with a gentleman who said, “You become what you talk about.” What a true, but sneaky fact. It’s sneaky how something that small – but apparently significant – can work its way into our subconscious. If I’m having a down day, I find that it is so easy to begin to look at things negatively. Frequently I don’t even know it’s happening. How sneaky is that?
Being cheerful can be hard work but, because of our faith, it can be oh, so much easier. I begin by counting my blessings – almost too numerous to count: faith in God, love of family and friends, church support, laughter, kindness, caring, and on and on.
Next is the ability to lift oneself out of the doldrums. For me, that comes from talking with someone – my mom, a friend, a pastor, and most importantly, by praying. Frequently the issue is not a big deal, but when something is weighing heavy on you, then you think it’s important.
As Christians, God wants us to be happy. God wants us to enjoy life. God wants us to share our faith in a joyful, uplifting way. It’s important to find ways to show God’s grace and “shine” in our everyday lives.
I remember a sentence that I believe was said at Pastor Scott’s installation service: “Live your faith daily; use words when necessary.” The blessings of our faith should be so evident that others can see them in all that we do.
A friend and I have talked a lot about the importance of being cheerful, and how this feeling can be infectious. We never know how a smile, or a pleasant “Good Morning,” or a “How are you doing?” can make a difference in someone else’s day.
Last year I attended the “Care & Kindness” conference held at Westminster Church. It was a great opportunity to be reminded of the importance of the simple concepts of care and kindness in everyday life: make eye contact with others, speak to even the store clerk, be a good listener, provide comfort to those needing care, show compassion for others.
When I was young, my mother would frequently wake me in the morning with the words, “Rise and shine.” It’s such a simple concept, but what a great reminder when beginning the day. And, as the children’s song reminds us: “This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.”
When we shine we let God’s light show forth in all of us. We can help brighten the lives of others and, in so doing, we brighten our own lives. Our journey of life is much easier, and our burdens are lifted when God’s light shines and shows us the way.