The Start of Something Good…or Not!
By Kathi Macias –
I’ve always been one of those “half-full” kind of people (as opposed to half-empty). You know what I mean—an optimist who prefers to focus on the positive rather than the negative and who usually expects things to get better instead of worse. But sometimes that’s not an easy stance to maintain.
Let’s face it. Even we half-full people get stuck in the middle of half-empty ones much of time, don’t we? How about the recent Christmas gathering where you were chatting with a handful of attendees, telling them about how grateful you were to be feeling better lately? The half-empty pessimist responds with, “That’s what happened to my Uncle Ned right before he died.”
Someone else in the group tries to turn the conversation back to a cheerful note by commenting about how God has blessed him with a raise. Another Gloomy Gus pipes up with, “Some bosses do that just before they fire you.”
Really? Of course not! We know how ridiculous that reasoning is, but it’s tough to counter, isn’t it?
The one that really gets me, though, is the “life-is-awful-and-then-you-die” sage, who thinks he’s so clever and deep by tossing that tidbit into the mix. Some of the other comments I can ignore, but that’s one I just can’t let go by.
When someone throws the “and then you die” phrase at me, I smile and say, “Yes! Isn’t that wonderful? No matter how tough things might be here on earth, it will all be over in the blink of an eye, and if we know Jesus as our Savior, we get to go be with Him!”
If the person knows the Lord, that usually turns him or her back to the right focus. If not, it can open an avenue for a great discussion. What better time to watch for that sort of opportunity than at the onset of a brand new year? January is the perfect occasion for emphasizing fresh starts and promising goals. It’s the time of year when nearly everyone comes up with some sort of New Year’s resolution:
The bottom line is that we all know our life isn’t what it should/could be, and the New Year seems to offer us a chance to make it better. Sadly, few resolutions ever amount to anything more than another crushed dream or one more guilt trip to add to the already mountain-size baggage we’ve been lugging around from previous years.
So why am I a half-full optimist rather than a half-empty pessimist? Because I’ve learned one thing in life (not much else, I’m afraid, but it’s enough!), and that’s that it isn’t about me: life, the universe, circumstances, eternity, or anything else. I didn’t make me, and I can’t change me. But I know the One who can, and He is more willing to do so than I can ever be. In Philippians 1:6 He promises to complete the “good work” He began in me, and I’m just simple enough to believe that and let Him do it.
Won’t you join me in that half-full attitude and give the past (last year and all the years before it) to God, and then ask Him to fulfill His purpose for you in the coming year? If we do that, I can assure you that 2011 will be the best ever. The choice is up to us; the rest is up to Him. And that’s a really good place to start the New Year!
Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com; http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com) is an award-winning author of more than 30 books, including her latest release, Red Ink, from New Hope Publishers. Kathi and her husband, Al, live in Southern California, where the two of them spend their spare time riding Al’s Harley—hence, Kathi’s “road name” of Easy Writer.