I plan to exercise often. I even resolve to eat healthier. However, I don’t habitually follow through on those things with any regularity, yet. And when I don’t, I often internally count those as failures. What keeps me from remaining focused on the “misses” are the small habits that I do complete on a mostly daily basis, like showering and making my bed.
Some years back I went through a period of depression. During that time, even a simple shower required negotiation. As crazy as it sounds, I had to talk myself into it. Yet, I never missed a day of making my bed. I also never missed a day of walking my dog. Those habits and the intermittent showers became small victories that built a bridge I could cross into the next day.
Recall a time where you were unsure if a light at the end of the tunnel was really there. Maybe you were just existing, not really living. But eventually, the light reappeared. How do I know? Because it’s always there. It just takes a certain viewpoint to see it. To see Him. We miss it when our emotions play tricks on our perception, or when we allow our emotions to drive us away from what we know to be true. Unfortunately, both have ripple effects that affect our practices and often our relationships until one day, the Light is back in view.
I don’t remember the exact day the Light reappeared. I do remember a friend coming up to me in church saying, ‘I’m so glad your smile is finally back.’ He let me know that he saw the difference, and that made all the difference to me. Like me, you probably have unsung heroes that are pulling for you and even ignoring your “fragrance” on the days you couldn’t make it to the shower! We’re never as alone or bad off as we think. Friends, fellow church members, and even strangers helped reposition me. Light peeked again out of places it always was and slowly I began to live again.
This holiday season, take a moment to notice when someone who used to always have a smile or kind word all of a sudden doesn’t. Choose to take the role of the giver. Smile. Pray. Encourage. Buy lunch or a gift. Whatever your method, get in the fight with them. Help them to return to the vantage point where they can see the Light again. Whether you announce your presence or become a silent partner, you can effectively help turn on the Light!