December 5, 2016
Did You Know You’re Contagious?
Friend to Friend
Have you ever noticed just how contagious grumbling is? Someone complains, and the next thing you know you’ve joined in and are complaining right along with them.
How do you think that grumbling started with the children of Israel in the wilderness? I think it went like this. One person picked up her manna for the day and said, “You know, I’m sick of this manna.” Then someone else picked up his and said, “Come to think about it, I’m sick of it too.” Then a neighbor agreed and it spread, and it spread, and it spread. Next thing you know 2 million people are grumbling and complaining. Then a sea of ingrates wandered around the desert for forty years.
But just as grumbling ingratitude is infectious, so is grateful gratitude. One day I was in the airport headed to New Jersey. It was a typical rush, rush, rush morning. Grab the bags, trudge through traffic, hunt for a parking space, follow the herd, wade through security, dash to the gate.
Folks aren’t usually very friendly in airports. Eyes look straight ahead. Purposed feet slap the floor. Overstuffed bags roll behind. It’s not that people are grumpy. They’re just “flatish.” (That’s a new word for today.)
On this particular morning, I looked just like everyone else. “Flatish.”
Before settling in at my gate, I decided to make one last trip to the restroom. I’m so glad I did. It was one of the most joy-filled places I had been in a long time.
Gretchen, the “hostess” for this privy, donned a silly little hat on her head with whimsical feathers waving about the top. If it wasn’t for the official attendant’s vest she was wearing, I might have thought she was on her way to Mardi Gras. With a spray bottle in one hand and a cloth in the other, Gretchen welcomed each “guest” into her “home.” “Come right this way,” she cheered as she opened a stall door for her next visitor.
A woman in a green jacket exited a stall and Gretchen swooped in behind her. Squirt, squirt, squirt with the disinfectant. Wipe, wipe, wipe with her cloth.
“Right this way, madam,” she motioned to the next person in line, “This one is ready for you! Come right in!”
With all the poise of a valet opening the castle doors for a person of honor, Gretchen welcomed each woman as if she were the most important person in her day. I stood back and watched as this 5-foot-5-inch bundle of joy wiped off toilet seats and cheerfully invited her next guest into the pristine stalls. Gretchen had an effervescent sense of joy … wiping toilet seats. It seemed to come from a deep-seated heart of gratitude. And it spilled over to every single woman who left her station.
Women entered weary and worn and left with a skip in their step and a smile on their face. Some even lingered…as if they wanted to soak in just a little bit more before facing the world. I was one of them.
On the counter rested a tip jar filled to the brim with thanks. But I don’t think the “tips” were for wiping the germs away from the toilet seats, but for wiping the doldrums away from their hearts and frowns off of their faces. And for some strange reason, I just wanted to give Gretchen a hug. I did. She didn’t mind.
Gretchen reminded me just how contagious gratitude and joy can be, and how desperately I want to be a carrier. I hope you do too.
God, I am so thankful today. Thank You for eyes that see, ears that hear, lips that speak, legs that walk, and arms that hug. Thank You that I have a roof over my head, shoes on my feet, and food in my pantry. I pray You will set a guard over the door of my mouth so that no grumbling will escape its threshold. Help me be a contagious carrier of gratitude.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
- Get a piece of paper and write the numbers 1-100 down the left-hand side.
- Then write down 10 things you are thankful for by numbers 1-10.
- Tuck the list into your Bible and add to the list as things you are grateful for come to
- When you get to 100, email me at Sharon@sharonjaynes.com and say, I made it to 100!
More From the Girlfriends
Do you long for something more in your relationship with God? Do you have a “glory ache”—a hunger to experience God’s presence on a daily basis? The good news is that God wants that even more than you do. Right smack dab in the spin of the laundry and the sizzle of the bacon—as you live and more and have your being in Him. Dust for His fingerprints on the pages of your everyday life. My book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More will show you how. Click on the link to read a sample chapter. I think you’ll be hooked. It also includes a study guide and free online Bible study videos.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Monday, 05 December 2016.