As Christians and citizens we have a responsibility to be aware of what is going on around us in order to respond wisely, whether in action or prayer. However, with so much distressing information bombarding us daily, we need to take a break from the bad news once in a while to regain balance and perspective.
Some people have the gift of joy in the worst of circumstances. The lead character in Disney’s movie from the 1960’s, Pollyanna, illustrated this gift beautifully with her insistence upon finding the blessings in any situation.
According to Webster a Pollyanna is a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. You can sometimes hear someone say, “Oh, don’t be such a Pollyanna,” implying that the optimist is naive or unaware of reality.
In the film, Pollyanna often irritated others with her insistence on playing “the glad game” of always finding something to be glad about, no matter how small. Incredibly, some people would rather give in to bitterness and depression when troubles come.
It’s not necessary to deny the reality of ugliness in order to find beauty in our lives. Sniffing a rose, cuddling a baby, or admiring inspirational art can lower a person’s blood pressure and ease muscle tension. Just as laughter is like a good medicine, purposefully searching for the blessings we enjoy can heal our souls and strengthen us for the spiritual battles we face.
… whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think on these things.Philippians 4:8
Just for today, I am not going to let fires, floods, political unrest, illness, or injustice blind me to the truly lovely things in my life. Those challenges will still be there to be tackled tomorrow and, hopefully, I will feel more ready to face them as I remember that the cup is neither half-full nor half empty.