Do our sins cause us to smile? I’m referring to those memories we look back on. Maybe we weren’t smiling at the time but as we look back they now seem like good memories and cause us to smile because maybe we learned something, maybe we can even now chuckle softly out loud.
I noticed one day several years ago, an area in our living room ceiling had small round dents. I had never noticed these before. I wondered what could that be, where did they come from and I asked all of my grown children of which no one seemed to know. Several years later we hosted a business venture get together for our youngest son. A young man present said, “I’ve been here before at the all night bachelor party,” as he was looking up toward the ceiling. We had also hosted this bachelor party for our other son. I asked the young man since he seemed focused on one particular area of our ceiling, “Do you know what those dents are?” He timidly proceeded to explain that late in the night when most of the guys were asleep a moth landed on the ceiling and he and one other guy decided to shoot it off with a BB gun. We live in the country so BB guns are used to warrant off coyotes and other critters that venture too close to us or the goats we used to have and I knew that a little target practice outside was on the list of party activities, but on the outside! He went on telling me that a balloon got in the way as they continued shooting at the moth and they didn’t notice the dents they were causing until the balloon popped. My first thought was, “You were doing what?” “And in our living room?!” He was very sorry but I couldn’t help but have mixed emotions at the time. Since it was a get together with so many others around hearing I only smiled hiding my mixed emotions. I now look back and smile thinking about that weekend and what it meant to our oldest son hosting his bachelor party at our home.
Those BB dents in the ceiling stand for something every time I look at them. It’s like the times I stood in line for hours, sometime in the cold, with my daughter all for a little “Beanie Baby” stuffed animal, or the countless hours spent searching with one of our sons for that one needed Pokemon card. I actually still have most of these items and every one of the McDonald’s “Raisin Men” in their original packages! Remember these? It was always such excitement when we finally got our stuffed animal or card, our prize, and I always hated that I had mixed emotions because of standing in lines. But I always had an outward smile and positive outward appearance. So I ask you, are we excited about the prize we’re guaranteed at the end of our “line,” our time we have spent in this life? Are we smiling inside thinking about it or just showing it in an outward appearance?
Later when I finally realized my attitude, my heart, I realized I had spent the time not fully engaged with my children or my God and I had missed out on what these situations could’ve been which was added joy and blessing for me. (And friends, I have to add here that this was before cell phones). This made me so much more passionate to God when I realized this and I then looked back with a smile at my revelation. Do you think God smiled with me?
I love our stories of long ago! I love looking back and reminiscing and maybe even chuckling to myself. We all have those stories that we hope will one day have Jesus smiling and giving us the prize, Philippians 3:14. And these stories don’t stop but hopefully our attitude and emotions will change. For example, our youngest child, now a married man, asked me to help with a political team for a good friend of his. I’m not really political but what’s a Mama to do? Of course, we know what a Mama does, she complies and it was really easy to say yes since we know this friend and think extremely highly of him. But I had no clue what would be involved! This was something I’d never done before and I’ve done a lot and like I said, I’m not very political. It was a lot of work, lots of new responsibilities to learn, mostly physical in nature like putting out signs and entertaining. One of my mottos has always been, “Always with a smile” and another being “Just do it.” So do it smiling is what I did! After all, God instructs us this way.
Proverbs 15:13, “A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.”
But now, after all those years long ago standing in lines, my smile was inward as well as outward, my heart cheerful, and it has been a joy and blessing. I’ve learned through God to smile first and let the smile reside in my heart. It makes the experience easier and more enjoyable. Are we willing to really do what God asks? And with a smile?
This is the season we celebrate Jesus going to the cross and dying for us. Do you think He was smiling then, or God, Jesus’ Father?
Matthew 26:39, “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”
Matthew 27:50, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.”
I don’t think Jesus and God were smiling at this time. But…
Matthew 27:54, “When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘”Truly this was the Son of God!”
…But now, I know they were smiling at this. I believe the smile was always there, in their heart. And at this time when the heavens opened up and God accepted Jesus’ spirit they were definitely smiling at each other, Father and Son. And they look back on us with all the sins in our lives that would have caused mixed emotions and they just smile, when we like the centurion believe.
Do you have “dents in your ceiling” you need to be able to look back on and learn to smile at? Do you have a memory with Jesus that gives you a smile and a cheerful heart? I know the day God and Jesus first smiled on me and turned my dents to cheer! Jesus and God want to smile on you and help you have a cheerful heart!
#parenthood #neverending #Godourfather