Miles Of Smiles

Being away from home on this sort of trek lets you observe stuff you miss in your familiar everyday environment.

One thing I’ve noticed is how much people smile.

Friday I was cranking toward Orlando through a small collection of homes and businesses. A guy walked toward me looking sorta forlorn and disheveled, but as we approached each other he flashed a huge grin.

“Way to go, brother. God bless you.”

He kept walking, didn’t want to stop and talk, but I remember that big, toothy smile.

It happens everywhere. People in their yards smile. People in restaurants, in hotel lobbies, at gas stations. Usually it’s not me. Sometimes it’s just Monte being himself. Often it’s Becky telling the story when someone asks about the trailer or the bike jerseys.

We have this tendency, I think, to pay attention to the negative. Haters, critics, naysayers—those of us who are people-pleasers get all wrapped around the axel when one driver honks or one person flashes an unkind look.

Sad as it is, I can’t do much about those unhappy folks. The best I can do is not react to their unfortunate choices. Between you and me, I’m not always good about that.

What Becky, Monte, and I can do is keep giving that big majority of people opportunities to smile. We can smile back, and when it’s appropriate we can stop and hear their stories and tell them about hope.

Sometimes we think “God moments” are big, epic events. Maybe some, or even most, of them start with something as simple as a smile.

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We’ll get a late start this morning. Speaking at 10:00 am to Sunrise ARC, which serves developmentally disabled adults in Leesburg. That’ll probably mean an abbreviated ride, but we’ll get caught up as the week progresses.


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