The Franz Josef Glacier has been receding. The walk to see just the edge of it now takes 1.5 hours. Up and down, over rocky terrain. I “hoofed” it today… and my thighs and calves are complaining tonight!
But my spirit is SOARING! 🙂
Not because I was rewarded at the end of the trek with a glimpse of that ancient ice flow. But because I was rewarded throughout the trek… as the “ice” receded from the strangers I “met” along the way!
There must have been scores of them. From countries too numerous to count. All with the same objective. Except me.
All because of You, Lord.
Today, at least in New Zealand, is New Year’s Day. And it didn’t take You long to give me a New Objective. To be a JOY Dispenser!!! As I walked by those scores of visitors, I began to smile and say “Happy New Year!”
Some averted their eyes. Some ignored me altogether. But most — that’s right, most — exploded into their own smiles, returning the greeting to me enthusiastically! As they continued past me, I could hear their residual laughter!
I had done The Unexpected. In a stark setting. Where people would ordinarily ignore every stranger. But how does one ignore a JOY Dispenser???
🙂 🙂 🙂
Most didn’t ignore me. Yet I honestly can’t say who was more blessed — them or me?
I couldn’t help but wonder, Lord: How many went on to pay it forward??? Leveraging The Unexpected they had encountered by becoming The Unexpected for someone else? I may never know. What I do know is that, as I shared JOY with others, my own JOY exploded within me!
“I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (Acts 20:35)
The day had been cloudy and cold. Suddenly, the sun broke through and began to warm us all… as if even our very surroundings were responding to The Gift! It was The Son who had “broken through”… wasn’t it, Lord?
🙂 🙂 🙂
“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love… I have told you this so that My JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be complete.” (John 15:9,11)