Friday, November 3, 2017

Enduring Discipleship

by Christopher R. Greenwood
and Spiritual Atrophy

     A few years ago, I was waiting at the bus stop to catch a ride to my place of employment.  It was very early in the morning and quite cold outside.  I had gotten off the train and was expecting a normal day.  But the events that happened at the bus stop caused me some reflection, concern, and pondering, and stand out in my mind as a key day in my life.  The bus to my place of employment was running late for some reason.  Most of us were very anxious to get on the bus, mostly because we were all cold and additionally because I had a professional development class I needed to get to which started promptly at 7:00 am.  The bus that day was about 15 minutes late, so I was a little concerned that I was going to show up to class late, which I don’t like at all.  I am one that does not like to be late to anything.  I remember that an older gentleman came up to me with $5.00 in his hand and asked me if I had change for a five, so that he could take the bus, which only took exact change.  I looked at him, and told him that “I am sorry, but did not”. He started to walk away, but then came back to me, looked me in the eye, and told me that “I needed to be happier and smile more often.”  I was a little shocked that an absolute complete stranger would tell that to my face, but I smiled back at him and told him that “I was happy.”  He smiled at me, and then walked away. 

     I found this particular event in my life very interesting, especially with regards to its timing.  At that moment in my life, I was going through much personal tribulation, stress, and had many professional assignments that I had started working on that needed completion.  My cup was running over!  My church assignments were very busy and my daughter, Casey, had just been admitted into Brigham Young University and I was worried how we could help her financially, while still keeping a missionary son, Collin, out in the field.   I stood there at the bus stop pondering over what this gentleman had just said to me. 

     For me, it was an eye opening and life changing experience for me to have a complete stranger come up to me and tell me that I need to be happier, or smile more.  I am a very happy person, but the problem at the time was evidently a disconnect between what I was feeling on the inside and the expression I showed on my face.  I pondered over how I could tell my face the happiness I am feeling on the inside?