January 21, 2009

On The (Truly) Bright Side

I have so much to be unthankful for, seemingly. I do complain and rant at times (countless today so far), but I always end up feeling like it was uncalled for or even silly at the end because it seems...I mean I'm really beginning to think...it's becoming an inescapable conclusion...I might just be an optimist. I have never ever considered myself as such. I wouldn't have considered myself a pessimist either. I do not skip through fields of flowers laughing, sipping joy juice and doing cartwheels when my world is falling down around me. And sometimes I even get really down, turn my palm up on my forehead and collapse in a chair and think oh my, do tell, what's it all about? Just ask my family.

Through the drama, though, there is a tiny voice that always ruins my indulgent moment. This tiny voice, this mysterious mistdrop of hope, may float up from a pinpoint somewhere in my being, so small compared to the splashy, colorful, frenetic action of earthly life and yet its steely voice cannot be misunderstood or ignored. It cannot fail to make its point and I cannot fail to be altered by it.

I think this is God, God's grace, the Holy Spirit, Truth, seeds of faith. It gives hope that transcends earthly outcomes. It transcends "optimism." It is not a promise for something but of Someone. If you lose your job, you can hope that you'll get another. You may not, but you do have God. If a relationship is ending you can hope it'll come back. It may not, but you do have God. If your house burns down to the ground you may hope for another just like it. May not happen, but you will have God. Always. There's hope, but it's not in or for things of this world. It can't be. It can only be for touches of God, reassuring me that He is there because that's all there is.

When the pain comes -and in fact it doesn't come, it's here among us and it's here to stay - it helps remind me of the good. I don't mean "happier times", sitting by the firelight on a romantic evening, playing Rummicub with my kids (Sean's learning how to play so much better now, he's no longer just our tile-picker), being taken out for my birthday by friends (and admittedly, I can't wait). No, I mean the Good, because though the bad times make those other times feel like heaven, they are not. Their only meaning to me is in their reflection of God, because we can often easily see God in the good. But God doesn't need a go-between so I mustn't come to depend upon them to remember Him. A sunset, a peaceful day, a baby's laugh. A drug rehab, a sick son, a suffering family. Doesn't matter, God is there. God. Is. And He Is with me always, just like you wonderful friends say. Circumstances change, moods change,
people change, there is pessimism, there is optimism, there is happiness, there is misery. None of it notable without God.

4 comments:

rosemary said...

I have never been an optimist...never. I have to have something to worry about. My husband and daughter nicely told me that recently. Perhaps it is the absence of God in my life. Absent because I am too busy you know? I have to clean, dust, wash floors, worry, worry some more and then look for something in the future to worry about. Life is heavy for me most days. But compared to a young mother's worries, I am a light weight. Jennie, I'll worry for you, OK?

Jennie said...

Instead of worrying, why don't you share some of your hard-won wisdom with me. I'm sure I need it.

Mom said...

You are sharing great wisdom in remember that Jesus said,
"Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matt 28:20

Paul Nichols said...

You're a very good writer.

Your homework assignment for this weekend is to read the book of Philippians. It's chock full of joy and positive promises. Look for them.