Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Power of a Smile

I never realized how powerful a smile could be until a random encounter last week. I took my daughter Jordan for a doctor’s appointment at Georgetown Hospital. The trip to Georgetown was not easy with stop and go traffic all the way in and stress levels rising as we watched our appointment time tick away while stranded in traffic.

Fortunately, the office was flexible and willing to still see us once we got there. We were quickly sent down to have x-rays taken. As we sat in a small room waiting to be called, I still felt so stressed from the ride in and then started thinking about all I had to do that day which only increased the stress level. I sat staring straight-ahead when this teenage boy, I’d guess to be about 14 years old, was wheeled around the corner. We instantly made eye contact and he immediately smiled at me. I smiled back but that moment will forever remain with me. This teen’s face was horribly disfigured. It wasn’t clear if he was badly burned or in a horrific accident but the injuries sustained were obviously very severe.

In light of that, he still managed to hold his head high and simply smile. He wasn’t going to let whatever had happened to him hold him back. So powerful!, This young teen found the strength and courage to move beyond his injuries and chose to be a light to the world.

How many of us choose to hide behind our problems rather than be that beacon of light to world? It’s amazing the power a simple smile can give. It reminds us that this world really is about kindness and love. We may spend our days stressing about everything else but when the day is done, none of that really matters. I feel so blessed by that encounter and he probably has no idea how important that smile was. I’m thankful he felt empowered to shine his inner light to world. Yes, a smile can change a life; he certainly changed mine!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Embracing Each Moment

We are told the greatest gifts of life come when we can learn to live in the moment but doing so, especially in today's world, seems almost impossible. We have so many things pulling for our time and attention that it is so hard to shut it off and only focus on what's right in front of us, right now.

I was reading something earlier last week when I suddenly felt an acknowledgement from within that true happiness comes when we learn to live in the moment and embrace everything about that moment. It's funny, I wasn't even reading anything about "living in the moment"; it was as if someone randomly whispered it in my ear. I suddenly understood why we should not worry about the past or future, they honesty mean nothing. The only thing we really truly have is the moment we are presently in and there is always goodness in some form within that moment. If nothing else, that moment is bringing us another breath to experience life.

We are closest to God when we live in the moment. God does not bring fear, doubt or anxiety – those are emotions we bring on to ourselves when we live outside of the moment. They are byproducts of our thinking about the past or the future and distract us from fully experiencing all the goodness of that moment. We can absolutely experience the fullness of God when we learn to live in and embrace the moments of our day and in turn, acknowledge His divine presence in our lives.