The world is a really cold place. I know this because I’ve become somewhat frigid. I normally smile at people when I’m in public but lately I’ve found myself returning the energy in the room. If no one is smiling, neither will I. I’m not sure if Disney World is still the happiest place in the world, but I can tell you the grocery store is the unhappiest place in the city!

Inflation is surging, shrinkflation is the new packaging norm and food quality is steadily declining. There’s so much unhappiness in the atmosphere of shopping for life’s essentials so it’s easy to blend in. But as a believer, we’re not called to blend in, we’re called to shake up stuff! In the coldness of the world, don’t be a thermometer only reading the temperature of the room. Become a thermostat and become willing to change the atmosphere and turn up the temperature of the love of Christ.

When my sister Brandi passed away in April, I noticed that unless I mentioned it, most people didn’t notice what my family was experiencing. This was eye opening, to say the least. I learned how true it is that you never know what the next person is really dealing with. Yes it was a struggle to smile some days and dealing with the sudden separation of my assignment at the church where I’d served for the last five years, I didn’t care to smile at anyone nor did I care who was smiling at me. It was dark and cold, and so was I! I knew that I couldn’t stay that way but I didn’t really want to change. It felt good, comfortable, even. And then I realized that may be the reason so many are the way they are, today! I’m not back to 100% yet, but I am glad that the Lord will uphold me when I can’t or don’t even care to (which I honestly didn’t).

There’s no shortage of unhappiness, doubt, distrust, and worry. Why not replace it with the eternal hope of Christ you have in your life? I have made a concerted effort to be the change the room needs. I accept that assignment for each room I enter. I enter as a thermostat understanding that my impact will be felt as long as I’m “on.” I’m thinking of those of you struggling with whatever life has brought your way. I’m reminding you that God is the joy and strength of your life. I’m reminding you to smile, today. Did you know that a smile can turn someone’s day around? You will smile again and when you do, sow that smile into the life of someone who could surely use it!