I’ve always erred on the side of positive thinking. I prefer to see my glass as half full. I choose to look on the bright side. I’m forever searching for the ubiquitous silver lining.
I like to think my sunny outlook is the perfect foil to the Eeyores and naysayers in my life. Except occasionally, it isn’t. Sometimes, my Pollyanna optimism is just annoying to those of a more pragmatic bent.
Have you ever noticed how most people fit into one or the other of those categories? Either glass half full or glass half empty? Those who focus on the aspects of a given situation which are going well and those who only see the flaws? The realists versus the idealists? Is one way of looking at life better or worse than the other?
For those of us who prefer to live in the world of sunshine and rainbows, the danger lies in our denial of the gifts found in the wintery shadows. In our relentless pursuit of the light, we miss the nuances and subtle beauty of the dark. Life is often messy and sad. Sitting with the reality of our doubt and confusion is difficult. The answers we seek are often hidden from view waiting to be uncovered. When we settle for simple answers and rush madly past the hard to get to the easier, the deeper work of waiting and wondering is stunted and we miss out on the growth which comes from the arduous work of digging.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the observance of Lent for those of us in the Christian church. Lent is about pausing in the shadows and remembering. We pause, although we might prefer to rush headlong to Easter. With the imposition of ashes, we are invited to remember the fragility of our lives on earth and the rapid passing of our years.
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.
Lent is an invitation to dig deeper and look more closely, Continue reading