Glass half full vs. glass half empty…mountain vs. adventure…it is the never ending debate between pessimists and optimists. Well, with all the horrors and scary situations going on around the world, in our country, cities, neighborhoods and homes, I cannot blame anybody for feeling or siding with the pessimists. I am not the one to talk since I find myself in the pessimist line more often than I’d like. Today, however, I have been pointed toward the light!
My dear friend Shirley shared with me the following meditation she contemplated the other day while in her quiet time with the Lord:
“Are you a pessimist or an optimist? If you think like a pessimist then you believe that everything depends on your own efforts. Our own efforts achieve very little.
If you think like an optimist, then you realize it is not our efforts, but God's grace and power that matter. With God, nothing is impossible.”
Those are some wise words, indeed! The Holy Spirit surely was at work in my friend’s soul that morning. To me, they have been sort of like an epiphany because they have made me realize how my pessimistic tendencies speak volumes about my lack of trust in the Lord. I never really considered the fact that being a pessimist meant I was only relying on my own pitiful strength and power for the outcome of my efforts rather than trusting in the faithfulness, power and strength of the One who made me.
If I’m the clay and He is the Potter, being pessimistic would almost equate to me, the clay, trying to make myself into a jar and being angry, down, cynical or sarcastic because I wasn’t successful.
The problem is magnified since, on top of being a pessimist I am a control freak as well. This means that not only do I want to make myself into the jar, but I also want to fill it up with water on my own. I want to design my own plans and rely on my own devices to fulfill them.
No wonder I am exhausted.
I want to change my point of view and become an optimist! Those who know me well know that I probably will never be the stereotypical cheerful optimistic type. But I’m not aiming for pink-colored glasses. I’m aiming for an attitude that reveals my trust in the Lord’s Omnipotence in my life. I want to be an optimist in a way that my behavior, thoughts and words reflect my confidence in the Power of the Great I AM and in His ability to change me and act upon my life.
I want to stop pretending I am the potter, and begin acting like the clay. All the frightening circumstances revolving around my life will continue to be there and will continue to concern me; but they won’t consume me for I know that my God is able to handle it all by the power of His word. I will rest in His care and trust in His hands. I don’t think I will ever fully be the one who sees the glass half full, but I think He can make me into the one who is glad to realize that at least there is a glass which represents hope…a glass that hopes and knows that someday it will be filled to the brim.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.