Contagious Joy

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ImageI was pushing my grocery cart through the aisles this morning, trying to get through the task at hand with as little time expended as possible. Groceries are not my fave chore, let’s put it that way.

As I walked, I could hear whoops and exclamations of excitement coming from another aisle. “Wow,” I thought, “someone is pretty excited about grocery shopping this morning!” I happened to come across the source as I turned another corner. A young man, obviously developmentally challenged, was pushing a shopping cart, and as he pushed, he would spontaneously erupt with jumps, triumphant fists up in the air, and mouth wide open with happiness and excitement. Out of his mouth came “whooop!”. A big smile was pasted on his face. He was with two people who were obviously his helpers.

I couldn’t help but be infected by his joy. I smiled to myself.

At the checkout they lined up behind me and I had the chance to speak to the woman who was with the joyous fellow, still whooping and hollering behind the cart. “I wish that I was that excited about grocery shopping!”, I said to her, still smiling. “Yes,” she replied, smiling back, “a lot of people say that to us. We are also pretty excited about going camping, so that’s the other reason we are really pumped this morning.” she continued, motioning to the overly excited young man. “Have a great time!” I said. “Oh we will!” she assured.

As I reflected upon this man’s joy and how it affected me and some of the other shoppers, I wondered why is it that we as Christians, who have this incredible message of grace, peace and healing to share, cannot be as joyful. How is it that we have lost our joy in the daily grind of life, bogged down small annoyances, (or maybe big ones!), irritated by the slow driver in front of us, or by the mess the kids left in the bathroom?

As I left the store, still smiling, I caught the eye of an older gentleman sitting on a bench. Slowly, as my eyes held his, the corners of his mouth turned up and we said “good morning”. Perhaps that is the only smile he receives today.

Perhaps you would join me in praying that God would infect us with his joy so that others might leave our presence feeling blessed and joyful as well?

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!      Phil.4:4

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