(My apologies to anyone who has read this post before on the blog I used to author)
I was driving to work one cold, rainy morning dreading the busy day ahead when I came to the four-way stop by our local Middle School. As I yielded to the driver in the candy-apple-red Jeep on my right, I thought about how I should have taken a different route since I was running so late. I watched the man in the Jeep for a few moments, waiting for him to take his turn. He sat there while I impatiently chewed my bottom lip and drummed the steering wheel in time with the music on my radio. Just as my annoyance began to turn to anger, a lovely young girl with dark brown braids stepped out of the Jeep, giggling as she looked back at her Father. The man at the wheel waved at her, then turned and beamed me a bright smile. At the sight of his cheery expression, my indignation vanished. As I continued driving to my office I realized there was a big grin on my face.
I began to think about the passage of scripture, “A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” (Proverbs 17: 22) I thought of how often I forget to let my countenance reflect the hope that is in me, and how our attitudes can affect one another. I also thought about how much better I feel mentally and physically when I remember to smile.
There is scientific evidence that laughter may help prevent heart disease. As Christians we know God’s word states that as fact. Many of us have experienced its effect first hand.
The smile of a stranger in a candy-apple-red Jeep held the power to defuse my anger and brighten my day. It transformed my impatience into a reflection upon God’s Word. It caused me to remember my joy and in turn I was able to pass it on. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary puts it this way, “Christians should do what may give joy to the hearts of one another. From the world they expect trouble; they should find comfort and joy in one another.”