The week leading up to Thanksgiving break I had the privilege of spending my days at a local elementary school. I encountered young boys and girls who were working on doing exactly what we all try to do — make good decisions. Some of these youngsters spouted words of wisdom far beyond their apple juice breath:


“I don’t have to go anywhere to have a great day.”


“Sometimes when you don’t feel good you just need your mommy or daddy.”


“Washing your hands is always a good idea.”


“Even turkeys have families who love them.”


“My mom said, ‘Unless you’re dying, go back to class.’”


Hmm… such big words from such little souls.


We don’t have to go anywhere great to choose to have a great day. Because of our relationship with Christ, we can be a hopeful light in whatever space and time we occupy. John 8:12 reads, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”


When life seems to have colored gray clouds above our heads, oftentimes we just want to know we are not alone — that we have someone who cares and loves us. As believers, we have the assurance that the one who “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13) is the same one who is love. Love himself made us. Let this truth soak in for a moment: “God is love” (1 John 4:16). And God is eternally with us. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).


Notice the word “will” in this last verse. Not “maybe” or “if I feel like it” — WILL.


Keeping clean is always a good idea. “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God,” 2 Corinthians 7:1 says. Keeping our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls washed free from anything which separates us from God is always a good idea.


God loves even those “turkeys” we don’t get along with. God sent his son for them just as much as he did for us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”


Until God calls us home or Jesus returns, may we persevere in faith. May we keep working out our salvation, obeying and honoring God with virtue. Ephesians 4:1 says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”


During this season when we draw our attention to preparations, gatherings, reminiscing and creating new memories, may we also rest in the thankfulness of these few elementary truths.


SGLY, dear readers.


(Smile, God Loves You.)


Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian writer and an opinion columnist. To submit feedback on SGLY or to offer a specific topic idea, please contact Chartier at news@amtrib.com. Follow Chartier on Facebook: facebook.com/tiffanychartier and Twitter: @tiffanychartier.