Saturday, June 4, 2016

Confessions of an Optimist

     I am an optimist.

     If you ask any of my friends or family, they will without a doubt confirm this mental state that I am almost always in. If you go up to one of them and ask, "Is Rebekah an optimist or pessimist?" They will probably give you a big smile and say, "Rebekah? She is definitely an optimist!"

     I see the good in a lot of things. While other students complain about being required to go to chapel, I usually remark about how much I love the worship music. While my other actors complain about the long and arduous rehearsal process before the performance, I will usually comment about how important rehearsals are to establish the details of the script that are so much fun to explore. While many people can't stand being stuck in bed sick, I can usually find an excuse to be happy about having a day of rest from my busy week.

Thunderstorms are breathtaking, hard work is producing Godly virtues, 
people who hurt are most likely hurting themselves inside, 
life always works out in the end. 

     Many people make fun of optimists saying that they would rather be a realist. I want to counter this argument by saying that optimists cannot hide from the ugliness of reality any more than pessimists can hide from the beauty of life! Life is hard and sometimes so ugly that you want to disbelieve that it is real. Trust me, I understand. There have been many times in my life when I look up to God and ask, "Why? This isn't worth living in!" There are horrid people who do horrible things that creates feelings of hate in the people who have been affected. There are diseases and catastrophes that wipe out entire towns of people in a matter of days. Life is not rainbows and unicorns like we sometimes desire it to be.

     But that doesn't mean there isn't any beauty at all. After the storm there are rainbows. After you get sick, your body becomes more immune to that virus. After the pain of childbirth, there is a new life. After the struggle of perseverance, there is the delightful feeling of a job well done. After the pain of waiting, God's best comes along.

You cannot see how good God is unless you can see the evil around you. 

     That's why I'm an optimist. Yes, I'm sure it is a part of my DNA somehow that I naturally want to think positively. However, it is also a choice. You have a strength when you choose to think of the good. When you focus on the bad that is all you can see. You lose the willingness to fight. When you focus on the positive, life doesn't seem so unbearable.

     That's why I'm an optimist. Yes, this world is covered in sin and evil. However, that is not the end. God is still in control, and at the end of all things the world will be right again. His glory will be even greater since we have seen the worst of humanity.

     So stay optimistic! Stay filled with joy as you go through the trials of this life! Keep fighting the good fight while keeping your chin up!

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