I was driving down the road the other day and as I crossed over Crenshaw Blvd, I left the confines of the city of Torrance and entered into its smaller neighbor to the south, the city of Lomita. Lomita celebrated it’s centennial last year and has banners that advertise that fact on every light post on their main drag. Those same banners also assert that Lomita, CA is “the friendly city.”
I do not know if the city officials just came up with that slogan on their own or if there was some scientific factor that figured into their claim. Maybe a poll was taken here in the South Bay (I don’t recall seeing one) or perhaps some national publication bestowed that title upon them (again, missed that -- if it happened). However, whatever, whoever came up with it – they’re running with it!
Smile -- It's the Second Best thing you can do with your Lips!
I must admit, there seems to be a dearth of friendliness and happiness around us these days. We can talk all we want about our “friendly cities,” “happy cows,” and even the “happiest place on earth,” but I’m not buying it. If it is the desired goal, that’s one thing. However, if its’ someone’s perspective of reality – I’d say “get real!” All you have to do is open your eyes and look around you to see unfriendly and unhappy people nearly everywhere.
I like the thought, however, as a goal and ideal.
In fact, I have been conducting my own little anthropological study. What I have been doing – when I consciously think about it – is smiling at people and noting the response that I get back from them. More often than not, I get a smile in return for the one that I give away.
My contention is that smiling needs to make a comeback. In fact, Christians should be leading the charge! Smiling is a much better advertisement for Christianity than the alternative. Which reminds me of a church that I ministered at when I was a young, single evangelist.
Be Careful what you Advertise.
It was well before the days of church marketing and yet this church had put together a slick PR campaign that really impressed me. Their theme was “Join the Happy People.” They had produced signs, banners, brochures and ads with smiling, happy people plastered all over them. I was anticipating great things when I arrived to speak. Much to my disappointment and dismay, the happy people that were advertised never showed up. Instead, the majority of the church people were unhappy and unfriendly.
So maybe you don’t live in the “friendly city” and maybe you don’t go to the “happiest place on earth,” but you can live life with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Rejoicing in the fact that Jesus is the Lord of your life.
Don’t join the happy people – BE the happy people!
“Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” –Psalm 144:15