When you see ‘Godfather’ you get this image of Marlon Brando or Al Pacino in a strong italian accent saying, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” What a great movie! Certainly not for the faint at heart, but amazing acting and an amazing story of mafia life. Any list worth its weight will have it as one of the top 10 of all-time. But you see, for me, that concept of godfather wasn’t even part of my understanding.
In various christian faiths, they practice infant baptism and through this process, parents can arrange a legal guardian for the child if the parents were to die before the child reaches adulthood. As a child, my parents had some very close friends that they asked to be my godparents. My godfather’s name is Doug and my godmother’s name is Susan. Today is Doug’s birthday. Now you may not have a godfather, but you may have some that has been a constant in your life and that’s what he has been for me. He has given me support, from which I have gained confidence. He has given me jokes, which has taught me the importance of laughter. He has given me gifts, which has taught me generosity. He has given me the opportunity to travel, which has taught me to enjoy. He has loved me in spite of my mistakes, which has taught me forgiveness. Most importantly, he has taught me the ability to change.
Something Doug did not teach me was brevity. When he gets on a story, get comfy! (Sorry Doog). But, I only know who he was because of the stories and believe me, there have been a few. To paint a picture, I get this image an edgy ‘Grease’, mixed with Woodstock and Rock ‘n Roll. Did that do the trick? Let your mind run with that a minute, I’m not outing his stories on here (relax Doog)! From fist fights to car wrecks to…you get the picture. However, the Doug I’ve known is as far from that as I can imagine. Let me paint a picture.
A Garden Hose
MJ (my oldest son) loves to play with Doug and Susu and we love it because it gives us a break! Most of the time, they will come over to our house, but on this occasion, he went with them. What we saw when we pulled in the driveway to pick him up was NOT what we expected. As we turned the corner, MJ dashes out of the garage looking like the day he was born! Not a stitch of clothes! Doug, thank the Lord, at least has some shorts on. Both of them are soaking wet. My first thought is to get everyone inside before someone calls DSS! As our senses come to us, we see a huge puddle in the driveway, but not a cloud in the sky. Then, as we scanned, there was the culprit, a garden hose! What started with spraying the garden hose turned in to an all out waterpark of sorts. Apparently, Susu had put Doug in charge and the rest was history, one ‘drenched’ in memories (sorry for the pun). What happened next made me smile. A couple of days later, Doug and I were together and he started chuckling which sparked me to say, “What?!” He responded, “I just got to thinking about the other day with Matthew, in the driveway, with the water hose. That was the most fun I’ve had in years.”
“Are you playing in the water hose?”
Are you playing in the water hose? Regardless of your past, regardless of your circumstances, you can change. All too often, people are controlled by their past. They let things, most of which, they cannot control, dictate the one thing they can control; how they act! Regardless of your present, regardless of how you feel, you can choose to be happy. It is a simple decision, it is a necessary decision and you can control it! Want me to prove it to you? You cannot help but feel happy if you smile at yourself in the mirror long enough. Try it! You can literally force yourself to fake a laugh and it will turn into a real one! Do this enough and happiness will start to overtake you. Stay consistent with it and it could change your life. If you sit there and think that you have nothing to be grateful for, take a deep breath. Go ahead, take a deep breath. How did that feel? Are your lungs working? If you’re still breathing, you’re still here. You matter! People are inclined to polarize their circumstances and react accordingly. If we allow ourselves, most of the time, we will see the negative polar. Go back to grabbing your thoughts and start to see your situation with grateful eyes.
“The seeds of depression cannot take root in a grateful heart” – Andy Andrews
How can you be grateful today? What are you grateful for? Please share!