Tuesday, October 14, 2008

That Boy's Smile...


I was on my way back from a wonderful Sunday service in Lagos. Some of the things I admire about the Lagosians, which I gathered from the few services I've attended there are: -

1. They know how to worship.

2. They can dance their energy away in praise.

3. They do not joke with their Sunday dressing.

But despite the refreshing message and the excitement I had displayed in church, there I was on reset mode to life - back to thinking of the things I do not have and wondering if God had heard my prayers. Contrary to what I was just taught in church.

Then I saw this boy. Dark complexioned, handsome boy. A child that took more than an extra glance from me. He had the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. Yet he was paralyzed from waist down, no legs and was on one of those boards with wheels to propel him. He was playing with some “complete” children who taunted him and mocked him endlessly. He was a beggar too. Yet his smile remained.

I asked myself, “Why should he smile? He has nothing to smile about. He can’t go to school, get a job, marry, copulate and have children!”

All of a sudden I saw my vanity stare me in my face. Was that all I thought about life? Was life so stereotyped? It was as if God was telling me there was more to life than: “Go to school, get a job, marry and have children”. It was as though He was telling me each person had a different purpose in life and all those things I thought were life are not the essence.

I looked at the boy again. He was still smiling despite his situation. This time, I smiled. He had taught me a few lessons in life:

1. Life may not be perfect, but God is.
2. Life will not offer me all I want but God will supply all my needs.
3. Each level of achievement in life will not be fulfilling until I can be content at the level I am.
4. Who am I to limit God?

That smile of the paralyzed boy, I still see it today. It is a constant reminder that if I reflect on my life as it is, there is a reason to smile. And then I realized “God has given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine”. [Psalms 4:7, NLT].

What of you?

And as you reflect on your life, if you find one reason to smile, know that ahead of you are several reasons to smile.

Remain blessed.

29 comments:

Temite said...

Sis Rita,
Again you have made me review the way I think of things. I do have so much to smile about. I have been blessed yet I get stuck on the few areas of my life not going acoording to my plans. Aloted, I think had a post similar to this too. I am just so grateful for all this reminders that it is important to have a grateful heart. I now know that I must start now. Thanks again and have a blessed week!

aloted said...

i ave so so much to smile about...

thanks for this post, dearie...

~Sirius~ said...

......and there I was, thinking about my life and what I want to do with it and how being at "confused.com" was the worst thing to ever happen to me.
Im smiling right now.......:-)

rethots said...

Hmmm, no wonder the Yorubas say "Eni ba mo inu ro, a mope da - He who knows how to think, will give thanks"

A smile means & does several things.

Funms said...

word!!!!!! thanx for d reminder..... nice post... glad ur enjoying nig...

Abujamaiden said...

True Talk! Its so easy to forget our blessings. My first comment on your post!

naijalines said...

Thanks for this, sista.
-Positive thinking with a grateful heart is the way to approach life every single day.

@ Rethots
-Yes o:-)

poeticallytinted said...

okay okay I AM smiling, see? :)

LG said...

:-)
:-)
:-)
:-)
:-)
still want more???? :-)

Fanwest said...

I think something is going on this week, every one is talking about smiling, laughing, giving thanks (yankeenaijababe, rethots, rita..., myself i am overwhelmed.

Let's spread the bug to all around us who haven't caught the spirit. Nice.

musco said...

dis post has made me look back & ahead.i'm thanking God 4 a reason to smile despite all odds.

u ve given us all another chance to reflect!

Vera Ezimora said...

Okay, I'm tired of leaving comments for you. Blogger keeps chopping my comments

Miss Definitely Maybe said...

true
sometimes we take life for granted
and forget to be thankful
Blessed are those (like that little boy) who are still thankful even inthe midst ofdifficult circumstances or conditions

Dee! said...

In EVERY thing, we have been mandated by the Lord to give thanks! A smile is worth much more than we think/know. I have always learnt to smile and where necesary, laugh my pains/sorrows away.

The smile of that young boy tells it all.

The Lord is good!

darkelcee said...

inspiring post.
Sometimes we are so vain that we cant even see the place of God in our lives.

i have so much to smile about.He gave me double in place of shame.

Shubby Doo said...

I think Mother Teresa once said “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

looking at the little boy's smile is very comforting 2 me at this moment in time.

thank u

Rita said...

@Temite: When you write your speeches like this, it fills my heart with joy. You made my day.

@Aloted: You are an inspiration to me…especially on how to be grateful to God.

@ ~Sirius~: I’m happy you’re smiling…but sometimes you do have a right to feel the way you did. It makes you want to spend some time alone and reflect.

@Rethots: You’ve taught us how to think and shown us that we do not need to think too much to see reason to give thanks. Well done.

@Funms: You’re welcome. I’m based in Port Harcourt but sometimes I have to visit Lagos. The services have been interesting so far.

@Abujamaiden: I wonder if there was something that could help keep our blessings at the forefront of our thoughts. That way we do not forget so easily. Thanks for your comment and for dropping by.

@Naijalines: Never thought of the mix of positive thinking and a grateful heart. But thinking about it…I think it will make a difference in our days. Thanks for these words of wisdom.

@Poeticallytinted: No I can’t see the smile… please send a picture :-) Glad you found reason to smile.

@LG: E do…I trust you…Please what memories brought each of the smiles :- ) Thanks for the smiles.

@Fanwest: I’ll be expecting your bug on smile/laughter/gratitude…

Thanks a lot…

Rita said...

@Musco: Now I feel like I’ve done something good…Thank you very much

@Vera Ezimora: Sorry oh! What do we do with Blogger? I have one trick…type my comment in word and paste when I finish…that way Blogger cannot chop my comments…very painful to lose comment especially if it is long and fresh

@Miss Definitely Maybe: You can’t imagine how shocked and touched I was to see the little boy still thankful…The lesson I’ve taken from your comment is not to take life for granted… said...

@Dee!: I really find it difficult smiling / laughing when I do not feel like it (so I remind myself of the scripture there is time for everything…) but like you rightly pointed out, in everything we need to give thanks. It means that in everything there will be reason to give thanks…

The Lord is indeed good, all the time… I am in agreement with you…Thanks.

@Darkelcee: Isn’t God so good? Thanks for your encouraging comment. I feel so glad hearing of the good God has done in your life.

@Shubby Doo: You’re welcome. That little boy gave me an unforgettable gift that day… I would like to agree with Mother Teresa. Thanks for sharing these words.

miss jones said...

inspirational! if he without legs sees a reason to smile, wetin come be my own?

Femi B said...

First of all i would say that anyone paralyzed from the waist down doesn't mean they can't do all that you mentioned. They have a brain..so they can go to school..get a job as for having children..adoption is always an option.

Now when i do see such people who life has somehow been unfortunate to them, i say a little prayer and apologize to God for complaining or not being thankful enough. Thanks for reminding us of our forgotten minor fortune..like aving 2 legs

Kafo said...

im thinking of a song by Martina McBride about titled God's will

this experience is that song in words, so many times, mercy everyday i rail and rant and then you meet someone who has a smile and is in a somewhat tough position and you pause

and so right now i pause

simeone said...

lovely post with a great message...
thanks alot for sharing this..bless your heart..

OluwaDee said...

"Life will not offer me all I want but God will supply all my needs."

A very important lesson.

Buttercup said...

Lesson learnt once again..

It just makes me realize that i've really got NOTHING to frown about..

Thanx sweetie! How u doin?

Rita said...

@Miss Jones: Same question I asked myself over and over again…

@Femi B: You have just lifted my spirit by helping me see the options available to the boy….

@Kafo: Speaking of God’s mercy, it is awesome…always there even when we are complaining…

@Simeone: You’re welcome, and thank you for your encouraging words…

@OluwaDee: I like the way you take out something from what you read…no matter how little…in this case you really made me thankful that I shared the experience.

@Buttercup: Hey Dearie…are you supposed to be blogging?
I’m doing cool, thanks. And u, how have you been? Missed u loads…

zara (my alter ego) said...

wow!!.. how is it u always get the crux of the matter and just harp on it.. i was down in the doldrums thinking life cudnt get any more worse wen i read ur post. now u have given me hope again that yes indeed there is more to life.. and more to be happy about and smile about than the stereotyped way in which we have learnt to fashion our lives.. thank you!

wellsbaba said...

when i read this post....It got me thinking........"what really is the essence of life?"
if I dont go to school,dont get married e.t.c does that mean I dont have a life?DEFINTELY NO! some of the world greatest never went2skool nor married.....
so wat really is the essence of life??? can u tell me plsss...im sure the most important thing in life is to know God,then after that what next???.....reply on ma blog PLSSS.....thanx4ur concern o jare,I've been confused bout a coupla things n its eating into my enthusiasm n lov4life hence my absence on blogville.My life is boring,I wana do something intruiging...thanx once .... again......

Rita said...

@Zara (my alter ego): You’re welcome and I am indeed so touched by your words. I’m so glad you took something from this post.

All the best…

@Wellsbaba: off to your blog let’s talk…

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there!

You are RIGHT...we have to examine how we define happiness because when we encounter someone's situation and wonder "why is he/she smiling?" it will cause US to realize what we THINK should define someone else's joy.

This was a wonderful lesson for all.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa