What boosts your morale? In a climate of terror, shootings, and nasty politics, we could use something to brighten our day.

In 1963, two Massachusetts insurance companies merged. Apparently the run-of-the-mill employee was not enthused about this, and employee morale was pitifully low. So management hired someone to fix this—and they paid $45 for his services.

Matt_foleyIt wasn’t  a motivational speaker (like Matt Foley, SNL’s motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river).

It wasn’t some nameless pirate with this infamous approach:

641122755_cdd3ba88c5_zThey hired a freelance artist named Harvey Ball.

Yeah, Mr. Ball, just give us $45 worth of something—anything—to boost moral. Maybe they only paid him $45 because he only worked ten minutes. But this is what he came up with:

Yep. That’s it. The original smiley face. The employees were encouraged to wear the buttons as a reminder to smile when on the phone, with customers, and with each other. And apparently it worked.

And, of course, this yellow face became an icon of the 70s and became forever associated with the phrase “Have a nice day.”

This week we honor Harvey Ball, whose birthday was July 10, 1921. His smiley face may have helped an insurance company, but we need something more than a smiley face to boost our morale these days.

Actually, the boost we need is already here. We just need a reminder.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

We hurt. We grieve. The road ahead is unsure. We wonder where our country and our world are headed. But this is not all there is.

Let’s do all we can to make this a safe place for our kids. Let’s work for justice and for what is right. Let’s shine the light of Jesus Christ in this dark hate-filled world.  But let’s also remember this world is not all there is. It is not the final answer.

Jesus is.

One day, those who follow Christ will follow Him into a home that is void of heartbreak, fear, and death. A perfect place because sin is absent and Jesus is present. So let’s work to improve this world, but let’s keep our eyes on the world to come.

Now that boosts my morale.

Have a nice eternity.