I am fortunate; actually most of us are even if we do not realize it most of the time. There are people around me that are excited about life. They enjoy what they are doing, look forward to the coming challenges, and are eager to get on with things. They live a life with principles framing their responses and are looking to make a difference in the lives of the people the touch. I am lucky because these people keep my faith and hope alive when I work to let it die.
I have discovered that the people who provide glimpses of hope in my life are often searching for it themselves. I also continue to find that gifts of hope only come when I am willing to see them. The irony is this; most of the time I find myself wanting to be in a funk, and so there I remain.
I find evidence everyday that God provides ample evidence of hope. When we are open to the free gifts that come into our lives then the mystery of hope begins. “A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.” (Proverbs 15.13)
In the past day two old friends have affirmed every confidence I placed with them. They responded to the challenges of life in ways that I can only describe in father kid terms, yet that only seems to minimize their efforts. I am full of hope, if only because I see their level of caring, enthusiasm, and intensity being lived out in real life.
It is in moments like this that I think of friends looking to the holiday season and thinking of family and friends. The pile of challenges is higher than at anytime in my life, yet I also see more smiles on faces all around the world. Families are putting aside differences to come together. Fences are being mended. Life is a smile, even if at times it comes through a grimace.
Today we can give smiles, big smiles.