Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Are You Smiling At?

A moment ago, just before typing these letters I yawned. No big deal, we all yawn at one time or another. But a minute or two before that I had read the word ‘yawn’, a coincidence? I don’t think so.

There are things in this world that are highly contagious and infectious. A yawn is one of them. A smile is another. Try it sometime! When you find yourself in a group of people start yawning and see what happens or start smiling and see what happens. Our actions and even our facial expressions have an impact on those around us.

If you keep smiling eventually an epidemic will break out and the whole airport, school or Café will enter in. Why am I telling you this… because you have something that is contagious. You have something that has the potential to multiply and explode.

What is it you ask? It’s a germ, a highly contagious unstoppable force that breeds and spreads like wild fire. When World War I came to an end the good news spread throughout Europe in a matter of hours. They didn’t have cell phones or laptops and most lines of communication had been destroyed by the fighting. How did it spread? How did it cover thousands and thousands of miles so quickly? It spread by word of mouth.

You have a contagion, a virus, a smile or a yawn that will generate excitement and change. The world is looking for an answer… you have an answer for them. The answer is so simple that many of us have been afraid to share it. The answer is good news… the good news that we are loved, accepted, forgiven and needed. God has prepared the way… the war has already been won! God needs us… not to do something for Him... but to join Him in the celebration… because we are a part of Him.

So what should you do? It’s really pretty simple… open your mouth! You cannot share your smile, your yawn or your life unless you open your mouth. Some of you started with your friends and family and someone frowned at you. Maybe they even sneered and the corner of their mouth curled slightly. Did you immediately clam up or did you go right on smiling, yawning and sharing what you had found.

Even if Aunt Gertrude gave you the most awful scowl known to man you still have a choice. Give up and quit or keep smiling. Eventually if you keep going, keep smiling, keep yawning, keep sharing in a positive way even Aunt Gertrude is going to smile. She may not smile at you… but she will smile at Uncle Clarence cause he just won’t quit and his smile is hilarious with those teeth missing!

There is something about smiles and good news that we don’t understand. When we smile somewhere between one-third and one-half of those around us are effected and end up smiling as well. As they continue on their journey smiling they in turn effect one-third to one-half of the people they come in contact with. Before long we have an epidemic.

Many think it happens over night, it doesn’t. The epidemic proportions appear over night but the incubation period was set in motion long before. In math this is called a geometric progression… what most of us would call exponential growth. How does it work? Consider the following example.

Take a large piece of paper and fold it in half and then in half again. Do this 25 more times until you have folded it a total of 50 times. How tall will the piece of paper be? I actually tried this a minute ago. I got to 7 times and then it was too difficult to fold. I measured it and found it to be about one-half an inch.

Using a calculator I doubled it 43 more times. The result… about 4 and a half trillion inches or 366 billion feet or nearly 70 million miles! Our linear finite minds cannot get wrapped around this type of progression… and yet there it is in black and white... we would need a telesccope to see that it reaches most of the way to the sun!

We are a part of something that has only been folded a few times. Right now, it still looks small and it’s hard to imagine what it can become. For those of us who know we are loved, who know we are accepted, who know that God is Love and that He is good and He always wins and always redeems… there is an unstoppable contagion in us that is going to spread and grow and multiply no matter what.

So what should we do? Me, I plan to keep on smiling! There’s nothing worse than a bunch of smiling sheep to get things stirred up. Everyone will want to know what you’re up to, what’s going on, why is everybody smiling? Who knows… maybe they’ll even ask for the reason for the HOPE within you?

Why am I smiling? Why do I have hope? I have hope because I know it’s not up to me. I know I can’t pull it off. I know I’m not in charge and I’m not in control. It’s Christ in me, the Hope of glory. I am in Him, He is in me and we are one. We are connected, interconnected and pumping God’s DNA through every part of our bodies, we were created in His image you know?!

Why am I smiling? I’m smiling because I have received “GOOD NEWS”… GOD LOVES ME! Whether I know it, believe it or not doesn’t change the facts. He loves me and wants me and needs me. Are you smiling? If not, why not? He loves you every bit as much as He loves me. Truth is… He loves everyone! The GOOD NEWS is for everyone!

Some become angry when they hear that God loves everyone. Some want an exclusive club, they want to make sure they get there fair share of love, like God might not have enough for all of us.

Others get angry because they can’t believe God would forgive such horrible people. They can’t understand that each and every one of us belongs to Him. They can’t fathom an unconditional love that is so deep, so real and so pure that it pursues us until it has us.

I want to continue... but it’s already too long.

Until next time… KEEP SMILING!

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