Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lessons for a Pessimist

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Let’s just say that I am not an optimist.  I have tried to be, maybe even in the past I have passed for one, but these days I tend to be a glass half empty kind of gal.  In addition to not always being able to see the silver lining, I have a horrifically detailed imagination.  I assume the worst possible scenario, and I can visualize it in gruesome and disheartening detail.  This also means that I plan for it.  In short I am a hyper-organized pessimist, also know as Pollyanna’s worst nightmare. 

Since we are all currently stuck in the belly of the grey beast known as February, I can imagine that some of you might also be having trouble looking on the brighter side of things.  You might have noticed that as of late you are having some trouble feeling “happy”, that your glass also appears to be half empty, and that God, well, He just hasn’t been following you little hyper-organized schedule.  Am I speaking anybody’s language?   

Happiness is a concept we have come to worship in America, an idol of sorts.  We follow our bliss, seize the day, live for the moment…you get the idea.  We have become so consumed by the idea that our happiness is somehow reflective of the blessings God has given us.  It isn’t.  You see, happiness is not promised to us in scripture.  The promise we have in scripture is that we will have the Joy of the Lord.  Joy and happiness my dear readers are two very different things.

I’ve learned that my pessimism is crippling my faith.   If I, a believer in our resurrected Christ, cannot tell of the Joy in my life, then why would any non-believer want to have any part of my faith?  Who really wants to know my Savior when I get bent out of shape every time something doesn’t go according to plan?  Our faith in things unseen, in the promises of all thing new, should be the wellspring of our Joy.  We will not always walk around with a smile, and we will not cease struggling with the burden of pessimism, but we will have Joy in knowing that all things work for the good of those who love Him.  All things, including half empty glasses and the month of February.

1 comment:

  1. One of the most profound statements that I've heard about this came from the youth concert we went to last week. The leader of Bluetree said, "Sometimes we spend so much time telling God how big our problems are when sometimes it helps to tell our problems how big our God is." It really does make a huge difference where our focus is. When we focus on how big our God is, our problems tend to diminish in size as we see things as they really are.

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