As a sports junkie, and also someone who gets to sit at the scorer's table to run the shot clock during university basketball games, I enjoy watching the faces and body language of players and coaches. As a former assistant coach, it was my job to run subs in and out of the games. I relied heavily on what I read in the faces and body language of my players to guide my decisions.
Think of the messages that can be conveyed by body language: fatigue, confidence, stress, defeat, disappointment, leadership, passion, and determination. It was an easy selection when comparing someone who looked confident and eager versus a player who seemed hesitant or overwhelmed.
Recently, I was reading one my student's internship journal. I was struck by something he experienced while working at Action Zone, a workout community. This intern works under the supervision of Coach Bennie Wylie. Coach Wylie's résumé includes being head strength and conditioning coach at major universities, training elite athletes such as Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys), and completing a Navy Seals program. Coach Wylie sets the bar high for clients and interns alike. My student was analyzed through video feedback. He was told he needed to watch his "DEFAULT FACE" along with improving overall demeanor — voice, dress and presence.
So how is your everyday "DEFAULT FACE"?
Does it change when trouble comes your way or when you are stressed?
Does it translate to someone who is bothered, disinterested, or fearful or one that exudes, compassion, peacefulness, and joy?
Would you consider yourself approachable?
How about we pretend to have an HD lens and glimpse into the faces of some of our faithful heroes of the Bible?
What "DEFAULT FACE" do you see at the moment Abraham raised his knife to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:6-14)? How about the demeanor of Stephen when he was dragged out of the city and absorbed those hateful and deadly stones (Acts 7:54-60)? Can you hear the conversation and imagine the body language between Daniel and the king before Daniel was thrown into the lion's den (Daniel 6:16-23)? Visualize that casual conversation inside a fiery furnace occupied by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:16-30). What do we see in the eyes of David as he launches the first stone at Goliath (1 Samuel 17:34-47)?
Then there is Jesus' "DEFAULT FACE" in so many different kinds of situations. Jesus was so at home amidst a raging sea that He had to be awakened from a nap (Mark 4:35-41). There wouldn't be fear, panic, or defeat in his face as he stilled the storm!
I don't have a home movie to watch the story of Job. Yet I know Job absorbed all of his suffering and gave this response to God:
[Job said,] "I know that You can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." ( Job 42:1-2 NLT)
As followers of Jesus, we can fashion our "DEFAULT FACE" with the assurance of Job! I love that the Scriptures are full of such strong powerful of strong faith:
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise and he saved me from my enemies (Psalm 18:2-3 NLT)
There are over 600 emoji in our mobile devices and online resources to convey how we are feeling. That is fine for digital communication. However, let's work on our "DEFAULT FACE" for our face-to-face interactions. We want to be radiating our confidence in our great God and his grace. Paul reminds us, our "DEFAULT FACE" should display a thankful heart and a strong confidence in being a child of God:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).