Beaten at my own game

I was beaten at my own game today. I have a penchant for making people smile. There’s nothing I hate worse than looking around me and seeing frowning faces. I can never figure out why folks are always frowning. There’s so much in life to be joyful about! Even under duress, we can smile because we know – or should know – that we rest in the hand of a God who loves us as the apple of his eye. What can be more smile-provoking than that?

So, whenever I go anywhere, I challenge myself to get every person I pass to smile. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll feel a teenie bit of God’s awesome love through me. I just look them in the eye, wait for them to make eye contact and then flash them a friendly smile. I’m usually fairly successful, although I’ve yet to hit 100%.

Today I was sitting with the other moms in the waiting area at the YMCA watching John and his classmates during their swim lesson. I was just sort of passively letting my eyes rest here and there in the pool, contentedly thinking of everything and nothing. Or so I thought.

Suddenly, one of the adult swimmers walking past stopped and blurted, “SMILE!”

Startled, I looked up to see a happy face with dancing eyes grinning back at me. “Aw, come on! You can do that, can’tcha? Don’t be sitting there frowning like that. Why, just look at you. Such an unhappy look on your face. What’ve you got to be frowning about like that? Nobody should be frowning like that. Now you just smile!”

This man was so congenial that I just couldn’t help but smile. “Okay, okay, I’m smiling!” I answered back, delight spreading across my face.

“There, that’s better. You gotta smile. Smile all the time,” he said as he moved on to the locker room.

After he left I sat there for a while smiling just because the guy’s joy was simply so contagious. How could anybody not smile after a jovial scolding like that?

Then I chuckled to myself. He’d actually caught me frowning. I couldn’t believe it. Me. Mrs. Make Everybody Around You Smile. Well, whaddy know. I’d been beaten at my own game.

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