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Smiling in the Pacific
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During my time in San Diego, Calif. this past summer, I took a surfing lesson with my sister and a friend. And let me tell you, I had several reasons not to smile. The lesson was at 9 a.m. and while that may not seem very early to you, I am not in any way a morning person, nor shall I ever be. Also, as many of you might already know, the water in the Pacific Ocean is freezing! Lastly, it didn’t help that our surfing instructor began giving us tips on “how to not get stung by a sting rays once we had gone into the water.”

But then our instructor added something that really resonated with me. He said that once we got in the water, no matter how scared or cold or tired we were he wanted us to have a smile on our faces. I thought that was kind of strange. Imagine a group of five beginner-level surfers, shivering and clearly terrified with fake smiles plastered on their faces. The instructor explained that when you smile, it releases special endorphins in your body that help relax you. That was interesting?

It Helped

If you could’ve seen me that day, I had a smile from the second I went into the water until the second I dragged myself out. Believe it or not, it did indeed help to have a smile on my face. At times I’d be laughing at myself because here I was smiling so big that it hurt, while trying to balance on this surfboard. Somehow, the smiling helped me enjoy myself more and focus less on the scary part of it.

On the car ride home afterwards I began to think about how the surfing smile related to my spiritual life. Sometimes I am mad or sad with God and I don’t want to talk to Him. But these times are when I need to talk to Him the most. If we continue talking to God in spite of our feelings, the desire to talk to Him will come back.

I challenge you to talk to God in every situation, especially if you might not feel like it. Let God speak to you, bring you peace and put a smile on your face. Be happy.

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By Elizabeth Camps. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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