Proverbs 15:15 & 30 (New International Version)
15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones.
Tonight at our cell group, on the DVD we were watching, something Dr. Del Tackett said, grabbed my attention. He was talking about a time when his son opened a closet door.
"Stop!" he said to his son, "Do that again."
His son must have thought he'd taken leave of his senses, but he opened the door again.
"That's it," yelled Del, "See? It's light in the closet."
He went to the closet, got inside and closed the door. It was dark. He opened it and the light flooded in.
The zany behaviour was all because Del saw something profound in that moment: Darkness does not overtake light, but light overtakes darkness. The darkness in the world will shrivel before the blaze of light if only we shine brighter.
There is another applicaton of that thought. For days I've been thinking of a different kind of "light," more along the lines of "keeping things light;" not allowing despair, hopelessness, panic or negativity to gain a foothold, in situations where it would be easy to do so.
I applied Del's analogy to my thoughts on keeping things light, because in that case too, the darkness will be chased away by "light."
This past Saturday, I had an appointment at 8 in the morning with a dental implant specialist who was going to drill into my jawbone as a step in the process of having a tooth implanted in three months time, after it has all healed. Strangely, I was anticipating having fun during the appointment.
At my previous appointment the office staff had urged me to go in my pajamas because of the early hours. "He will love it," they said, referring to Dr. R.
I didn't go in my pajamas, but the visit, as I expected, involved much lighthearted banter and laughter. One of his office staff slept in and didn't show up for work. He suggested to his assistant that they make signs for the person for when they arrived, saying, "Wonderful to see you," and "It's so nice that you came in." We all anticipated her eventual arrival with smiles. It could have been different, with everyone in the office grouchy about it. Instead, I had, as I expected I would, a great time and great treatment.
I've been trying to be more intentional in building lightness into my responses and choosing not to go to basement of my heart with a tough situation. After all, my despair is not going to help change one thing, but my hope and energy; my faith in God, will.
So here's a challenge: Have a light day; you might like it as much as I did; and maybe, like me, you will want to adopt the attitude permanently.
Proverbs 17:22 (New International Version)
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.