01/01/15 From the Minister’s Chair
Twixt the optimist and the pessimist
The difference is droll:
The optimist sees the doughnut
But the pessimist sees the hole.”
How are you feeling? Are you in that Christmas dip that shudders through many of us in the first few weeks of a new year. It is not always the bright wonderful experience of new beginnings that people talk about when the calendar changes from the Women’s Institute to the National Trust. I am not about to talk about resolutions so do not panic. But the subject of optimism and pessimism come to many minds in Winter. Some feel quite defeated by the passage of time; the sense that nothing has improved; a realization we have not achieved our goals. Some however are more sanguine – everything will be fine they believe.
The bible has comfort for both camps, St Paul talks about pressing on towards goals. I am sure Paul has great appeal to those of us “who see the glass half full”. For those of who are the opposite, Jesus asks us not to worry about our lives. In Matthew six he reflects that no one can add a single hour to life by worrying on the subject. He goes on to speak about some issues that cause these worries. The passage gives wonderful advice from verse 19 about stewardship, character and anxiety. It challenges people on their earthly priorities. The key to solving these problems is to make the kingdom of God and his righteousness our priority in all things.
I admit this can sound quite bland if you feel low, but if we are focused on the amazing God who made this incredible universe, all that it contains and if we see his interest even in us then our perspective may alter. (Though this is not always possible if there is real depression affecting someone). But if not, our sense of worth will rise a few degrees and we will know that new things are possible. Generosity, joyfulness and well being may not be impossible feats because we will seek some adventure in serving God rather than exercising caution all our lives. Of course we may not want such excitement and I am reminded of a song by Mr Noel Coward that some may even aspire too-
There are dark clouds hurtling through the sky
And it’s no good whining
About a silver lining
For we know from experience that they won’t roll by,
With a scowl and a frown
We’ll keep our peckers down
And prepare for depression and doom and dread,
We’re going to unpack our troubles from our old kit bag
And wait until we drop down dead”
I think Christ’s plans for our life appeal to me more, even in the depth of winter.
Happy New Year
Brian, Sara, Charlotte, Emily and Flora