“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Philippians 1:6 The Message Bible
Anyone remember the Droopy Dog cartoon character with the deadpan drawl and prankster ways? He often carried a sign that read “I’m so Happy.” It drew laughs because of the obvious irony. He needed the sign because his face told another story.
I don’t carry a sign like Droopy Dog but I am quite drawn to SMILEY face novelty items. They were a hot fad in the seventies and have made a welcome resurgence. I’m not one to collect things but I do own a few practical Smileys: a lime green Smiley Face cutting board which adds some delight to my slicing and dicing. Also, a yellow Smiley dinner plate livens up my least favorite foods. But a sparkly ball necklace sporting the simple motif is my most treasured Smiley. I bought it in a tiny boutique in Venice during one of the most amazing faith adventures I’ve experienced to date.
Unlike Droopy Dog, I have no hidden agenda of sarcasm. I’m a fairly open book. Being genuine is important to me even if it’s not all sparkles and smiles. I wear the necklace now as a reminder of my journey to consistent FLURISHING.
The first step of my journey occurred in the early seventies when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. My appearance did not change in the beginning. As a preteen I looked a lot like Droopy Dog with droopy bedraggled hair. But on the inside things were happening. Things were shifting. I started sensing inner unrest, an uneasiness with my situation at home. I became enamored with and more aware of people around me. Especially my peers who were happy and enjoying life. I didn’t understand the happiness quotient in their lives but I longed to join in their natural laughter. At that time I had no idea how to express positive emotions. I identified easily with depression and fear, but now I was exposed to something else. Something joyful. Something wonderful. Merriment totally baffled me but also provoked an intense curiosity. I wanted to be around it, observe it and at least understand it if I couldn’t experience it myself.
However, Jesus was already at work in my heart repairing broken areas and blocking resentment from erecting an ugly fortress. He was preparing my heart for joy. I didn’t realize my heart was somehow damaged in a way that restrained any freedom to enjoy life. My emotions were damaged and my thinking skewed. I had an inkling something was wrong but I had no idea to what extent. Can you relate in any way?
Morphing from Droopy Dog to Smiley face took place over a span of thirty years. The process slowed and took detours whenever I wandered off the path of my original journey with Jesus. I am so grateful I never wandered too far that I forgot my way back. I hope to share more details in future posts.
Where are you in your journey? Are you stuck in a painful place? A hard place? A place of rest? A place of joy? A place of FLURISHING? Wherever you are, Jesus longs to experience it with you and help you advance in your journey toward heaven. HE is only a breath away.
IF YOU’VE NEVER READ “Pilgrim’s Progress” PICK UP A COPY AND READ IT SOON.
Until next time smile and. . .
Shine on. . .