It’s funny how certain things stick with you. One of my friends in college said that people need to stop and enjoy life. She pointed out the little purple flowers we were walking by, which I hadn’t paid much attention to. I think about that a lot. I Timothy 6:17 says, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” We are so plugged in to electronics and driven by clocks that it’s easy to not stop and take stock of what we are sprinting by.
Robert Brault said, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” The big events that we look forward to in life are important, but they don’t happen often. We may look forward to vacation for three months before we get to go and in the anticipation miss weeks of small blessings.
The picture for this blog is of flowers that one of our littlest members at Church gave me a couple summers ago. I wasn’t even outside when he picked the flowers that Sunday afternoon after Church. I remember him coming up to me and grinning as he gave them to me, then running away. He gave flowers to several people for no reason other than he wanted to. He wasn’t worried about what we would think or whether the flowers were nice enough.
Many times we agonize over gifts for our loved ones. I know there have been times I have reconsidered saying something or giving something to someone because I worried they would think it was odd or not good enough. Where do we lose that childlike, unconcerned generosity? I Timothy 6:18, the verse immediately after the one quoted above says, “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.” Doesn’t this give us the idea of someone aware of the people around them?
A gentleman I knew years ago often said, “Get caught doing something good.” I completely agree with his sentiment, and I would like to add, “Catch somebody doing something good.” Then tell them about it. Instead of just assuming everything is going well because nothing is being said, what if we were proactive? People don’t just need to hear when they are messing up. Many times we figure that out on our own, although constructive criticism is certainly necessary. But what about being positive? Isn’t that needed too? Something as simple as a patient at work telling me they appreciate me or that they think I’m doing a good job can lighten a whole day, especially when I’m feeling less than adequate.
I am usually a smiley person. I don’t think much about it; it’s just natural to me. Which is how I befriended a janitor in high school without really trying. I often passed her in the hallway and I guess I must have started smiling the way I do if I recognize someone. I didn’t think about it until she started smiling too as though her day was just a little brighter.
Then one day she commented as we passed about me always smiling. That made me stop and think. How many people do we see every day, often depend on what they do, and never acknowledge them? Admittedly I have had my awkward moments with smiling. Some people just don’t return the favor. They look at me in such a way that after I have walked by I put a hand to my hair to make sure it isn’t sticking straight up and look down to make sure I don’t have something on backwards. But still, I think it is worth it.
Let’s notice the little things. Don’t underestimate something as simple as a smile. It’s free and takes basically no effort, so don’t be stingy. Let the people around you know you appreciate them. Tell them that and why. Write them a card or e-mail. Stop to take in the beauty of the sunsets, the song of singing birds, and the little purple flowers.
May the Lord bless and keep you,