"dream great dreams and find the courage to live them"

-erwin mcmanus

Monday, September 24, 2012


There is a certain energy that comes from an excited crowd of people.  When a group of individuals comes together for a common purpose, whether it be a hobby or a cause, a common interest or to support an organization, passion stirs.

I recently went to a very large women's conference.  Women from across the country gathered and broke racial barriers, broke socio-economic barriers, and worshiped God together.  Somehow when that many women were gathered, all hungry for the Lord, it created an excitement that was contagious.  I couldn't help but jump and shout in worship, because the goodness of God became so radically apparent in the beauty of His creation by which I was surrounded.

On a seemingly (but not really... you'll see) unrelated note, I am a hopeless optimist.  I like to think the best of people, and find the spot of sunshine in even the most frustrating of situations.  I used to sing quietly into my little sister's ear when she was grumpy, "Gray skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face.  Take off that gloomy mask of tragedy, it's not your style.  You'll look so good that you'll be glad you decided to smile.."  It was so ridiculously happy that she couldn't help but grin and subsequently develop a more positive outlook on whatever the situation was.

One of the residents I work with mocks me for my "Well, at least it's warm, even though it's raining!" glass-half-full comments.  A girl I work with tells me that I need to stop and be more realistic, because everyone doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt.  She pretty consistently counters my positive with a cynical negative.  So I began to reevaluate this outlook that I've come to hold, and even try to find negative in situations.  It was unnatural and seemed to only bring the other person down.  So I stopped.  I remember a time when my unwavering belief in the goodness of people led me to be used and manipulated by someone who I cared for deeply.  While the way that I care has most certainly changed as a result, my belief in a person's best intentions remains.

A message at this conference specifically validated my instincts.  Hope must be the anchor of the soul.  No matter how much we waver, we should be inseparably linked to the Lord of hope - a God of second chances.  A God whose precise purpose in sending His Son was for our redemption, our made right-ness.  Why not look at the positive, see the possibility for redemption in the brokenness of our shattered lives?  Our God sees the perfection of His son in the place of our wicked and sinful hearts that long for everything but the one thing that redeems us.

I choose to see the should be and the could be, and figure out how to make it possible.  It makes for a much more hopeful existence than the melancholy sights of an Eeyore.  And in the spirit of children's literature, I'll leave you with a suitable quote from a childhood classic:

"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he.
"Why, what's the matter?"
"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."
"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."

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