Until Then, Smile!

Viktor E. Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning wrote,

“Everyone has their own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment.  Therein, he cannot be replaced nor can his life be repeated.  Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”

I was thinking about this as I reflected on a conversation I had with a young man whom I had noticed  coming into the Starbucks store that I frequent. He was always super engaged with everyone, especially the great baristas, and he was forever positive and smiling.  After witnessing this over a period of weeks, I decided to join him at the counter, introduce myself and acknowledge his very special spirit.  His name is Andre and In the course of the conversation, he told me that he’s like this every day, all day and then, this:

“Why not smile? There will always be bills to pay and not enough money but why not smile?  There will come a time when we sleep–until then, smile.”

It occurs to me that Frankl and Andre are both describing what it is to go All-In, in life.  Life that is uniquely and gloriously generous.  Your life.  My life.  OUR lives, invested in our work, families and friends; playing, resting and attending all the while.

At any given moment, there are a thousand things bombarding this life we live and I confess to sometimes losing sight of the thing that is right in front of me, gently asking for my attention.  There are methods that I can employ to see–Notice–more fully but instead of getting all prescriptive about that here, let’s opt, in this moment, for forgiveness of our inevitable lapses.  Of course, we will strive, stumble and struggle to get it right and “until then, smile!”