Heaviness comes in different sized packages with a vast array of trimmings. But no matter what the shape or content, it will make an individual feel small, and at times, insignificant. It is really nice to know there is a way to remedy it.
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop:
but a good word maketh it glad.
Quite some time ago, I was given the challenge of learning how to lay fresh sod. I had to travel on the back of a flatbed truck to the sod site, load the rolls onto the truck, ride back to the landscape site, unload and roll out the sod, then carefully tuck in all the seams. There was one tiny detail I hadn't given any thought to - the area had just endured one of its worst torrential downpours in years!
I had to draw on a lot of my core principles that day - like mental stamina and how to pace myself. The sod was very heavy. It took 2 to 3 people just to load and unload each and every roll! By the end of the day, my mud-caked boots and throbbing legs were telling me that plodding through mud was far more than just a cliche.
That was the same year (my early 40's) when I had the opportunity to snowshoe for the first time - with a 15-20 pound day pack at nearly 10,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies. "What a blast!" I thought...until I discovered how much snow accumulates on top of each snowshoe after every 3 or 4 steps. No biggy. You just shake your foot to flip it off and keep moving.
That little day pack began to feel terribly heavy after navigating a couple thousand feet of steep uphill terrain, causing my entire body to bend forward, stooping under the "load." Finally, my shortness of breath convinced me. I wasn't just carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, but like the mythical Atlas, it was the entire celestial sphere!
I recovered from both of those adventures in pretty much the same way - by indulging myself with a lingering steam bath and cool-down shower, followed by a scrumptious meal, and a night of leisure with a good movie and my closest friends. There were lots of good words being shared about what I had accomplished, making my heart quite glad and proud of myself.
Yet the plodding in mud is felt by everyone at different times. The toil, and at times the drudge in life - as if painfully tramping through mire and wet. Or perhaps it's the weight of the world that's felt - being burdened with too much responsibility for a single person to bare. We may not always have the opening to make a heart glad with a good word, but I believe I have found the next best thing...
The Value of a Smile
|My Daughter & her Friend|
It costs nothing, but creates much.
It happens in a flash,
And the memory sometimes lasts forever.
It cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen,
And it is of no earthly good to anyone,
Until it is given away.
So, if in your hurry and rush,
You meet someone who is too weary
To give you a smile -- leave one of yours.
For there is no one on earth who needs a smile
Quite as much as he who has none left to give.