Posted by: raisingworldchangers | 03/03/2010

We Are Not Clowns

"Frowning Clown"One quality people regularly compliment me on is my smile. They tell me that they like my smile and I enjoy hearing people telling me that because I really do like to smile. Smiling lightens the room, eases the tension, shows off your dental work, reveals any leftover food you missed while flossing, and lets others know that everything really will be alright.

The only problem I run into as a compulsive smiler is the occasional time when I am not smiling. People suddenly think that the sky is falling. “What is wrong? Is everything is okay”, they ask me. “Did someone die, was the President assassinated, did Lassie not rescue Timmie from the well in time?”

You see, often when our children or family asks us if everything is okay, what are they really asking or saying? This is not necessarily the time for you to reveal every bad thing that is wrong with the world. What they are saying is, “Hey I miss your smile. Where is it today?” The truth is, they count on it and look forward to it as a part of their day or interaction with you. God has given each of us something as a gift and we enjoy using it. In fact, it actually becomes a part of who we are. When the rare occasion arises that we forgot to put it on that morning, it can act as a distraction on the road of life to those around us. It throws people off and they do not know how to respond.

Just think of going to your favorite restaurant or coffee shop. What if they were already sold out of “your” chocolate croissant (and didn’t have the nerve to save it for you) or ran out of vanilla for your latte’? Might that throw off your perfectly scheduled morning? You are in a “happy place” routine and any side trails only serve to confuse and distract.

Well, believe it or not, it is the same with our gift. Think of a person you admire or enjoy being around. Do you intuitively count on them to be the way they are because that is why you enjoy their company? If they are off one day, we wonder what is wrong. Suddenly the eternal optimist is not optimistic. Suddenly the ever-patient friend is losing their cool. Suddenly we wake up and we have gray hair and are 20 pounds heavier. What do we do?

We need to be prepared in season and out to improve our families with the simple gifts God has given us. We may not realize how our little habits and routines are blessing and impacting those around us until we stop them. Not every day can be perfect and we will face difficult and challenging situations that might throw us off as well. I am not suggesting that we act disingenuous or be a clown with the painted on smile. Just do your best to stay the constant force your friends and families need so they can look at you and know it will be alright.

Stay grounded in God and continue telling the funny stories, throwing encouragements, smiling, being positive, remaining steady or whatever it is that God has given you to do. Others are counting on it.

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