Do you ever feel pressure to put on a happy face? To pretend everything is just fine even when it’s not?
I do. In fact, I think we all do.
I mean, most of us have put on our “church face” on more than one occasion.
What’s a church face, you ask?
You know how sometimes you’re on your way to church and the entire family seems to be upset about something? First of all, you’re late. You walked out of the door in a hurry, so your house is a wreck. One kid doesn’t like the shirt he’s wearing. The other one is upset about the plans for the afternoon, and you are fussing at both of them at the same time…
But as soon as you pull up in the parking lot and hop out of the mini van, you emphatically greet the first person you see…Hey, how are you doing?! And then you smile.
That’s “church face.”
You see the reality, though, is real life is what happened in the mini van before you arrived.
Real life is messy.
Real life is chaotic.
It’s hard and it’s confusing and it wears you down.
Real life feels like a Monday.
But we have this internal urge to give the appearance that our lives are more like a lazy Saturday afternoon in the summer.
The sun is shining….birds are chirping…you’re laying in a hammock and your favorite food is on on the grill.
Doesn’t that sound so much better than Monday? It does to me!
That’s why we Facebook Saturday afternoons. We Instagram its view. We tweet its laid back approach.
Yet behind a lot of Saturday afternoon posts are folks having a Monday…
…an out of control train type of Monday.
Just last week that was me. I tried to wear my best Saturday afternoon smile, but I had a week of Mondays….like it was Ground Hog Day.
Hardly anyone knew, which made me think. If I’m smiling on the outside and having a Monday on the inside…maybe the people around me are too.
I thought about some things I had said to my wife…and my kids…and I wondered if I would have said those things if I knew they were having a bad day.
Let me end the suspense. I wouldn’t have. So, I drew this conclusion…
Maybe I should treat everyone like they’re “having a Monday.”
Maybe I should treat people like they’re riding an out of control train…like their heads are spinning on the inside, but wearing a “church face” on the outside.
Maybe sometimes people say and do things…not because of who they really are, but as a by-product of the day they are having.
So, instead of assuming the worst, instead of assuming that guy is just a jerk, perhaps we should assume he is just having a Monday and let it go.
I think that’s what grace is.
I really like it when God gives it to me.
So, I think that means I should give it to someone else.
And if I do, maybe they’ll feel comfortable enough to let me in on the day they’re having. Then, I can really start to be the neighbor God wants me to be.
So, I think every day should be a Monday. Or at least we should think of them that way. I think we should treat people like they’re having the worst day ever.
You never know when a little grace just might be the thing that turns it around for them.
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