clean your glasses

(You can’t be optimistic through a misty optic!)

Recently I have been working through a process of analysing my strengths and weaknesses and (with the help of the lovely lady called Tracy) have been analysing my preferences – my personal style, how interact with others, and how I make decisions. This has been incredibly beneficial. As well as helping me to understand myself better, and why I think all react in certain ways, it is also helped me realise how people respond to me. I won’t go into all of the details, but one of the helpful reflections is in developing strategies for recognising and responding to those whose way of looking at life is different to my own.

I hope that this will help me as an individual, as a husband and father, as a team member, and as a Minister. I will be trying to work through these findings and may occasionally news about them on this blog. I hope that that will not be too self-indulgent but may help you understand me better, and perhaps even understand yourself a little better too. So, what’s today’s subject?

Apparently I am a ‘glass half full’ sort of person, although that optimism is occasionally misplaced. (It has been pointed out that the glass is always full – it’s just that sometimes it is more full of air than fluid). Except when I’m feeling in a grotty mood (often because I’m tired), I do think that I am a relatively optimistic person. I am not prone to Eeyore moments. I tend to look at life positively and consider possibilities rather than focusing on difficulties and problems. I think to this might be linked to my love of laughter and humour, which I appreciate can come across sometimes as flippancy (sorry if that’s the case for you). I wonder how much this is my natural personality and how much comes from my Christian faith.

In the light of the facts of Jesus’ resurrection I find it difficult to be pessimistic about life. The empty tomb, the testimony of the guards, the transformation of the disciples, the statements by those who met Jesus after his resurrection, the rapid spread of the early church led by eyewitnesses, and my own experiences of Jesus’ presence in my own life all points towards an ultimately optimistic future.

I know that for some people life at the moment might be quite dark and that for others Eeyore might be their patron saint, but that does not alter the facts of my faith. I hope and pray that my optimism does not make you feel uncomfortable or awkward but instead might provide hope and the expectation of a brighter future. If you find me to be over enthusiastic please gently let me know. At the same time, however, please feel free to borrow some of my optimism if yours is lacking.

Be blessed, be a blessing

Grandpa was celebrating his 100th birthday and everybody complimented him on how athletic and well-preserved he appeared. “Folks,” he said to the assembled throng, “I will tell you the secret of my success. I have spent a considerable amount of time in the open air everyday day for some 75 years now.”

The celebrants were impressed and asked how he managed to keep up his rigorous fitness regime.

“Well, you see my wife and I were married 75 years ago. On our wedding night, we made a solemn pledge. Whenever we had a fight, the one who was proved wrong would go outside and take a walk.”

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