Half full or Half empty?

Snow. Some love it. Some can’t stand it. Some love it, so long as they don’t need to shovel it. Some like it, but easily tire of it.

Yes, there are many different perspectives on snow. Walk with me for a minute (I guess I really should say, ‘scroll with me’!) as I consider two very different perspectives on snow.

Perspective ‘A’: Snow is a nuisance. I’ve had to shovel a ton. Every time I do, my back hurts. Snow limits travel. At our church, we even had to cancel services one Sunday (Dec. 16/07). Snow has a negative affect on Sunday attendance. Snow prevented me from attending my nephew’s birthday party (Friday). Snow almost prevented me from missing a friend’s wedding (yesterday). Snow creates conditions where more car accidents occur (apparently there were nearly 1,000 accidents in the last 48 hours in Greater Toronto Area). I needed to help a guy extract his Grand Am from a snow bank on my street this past Friday. A tow truck was required to free the other two cars that had similar trouble at the bottom of our hill. Snow is a pain–literally.

Perspective ‘B’: Snow is awesome. God made snow and snow makes the landscape look beautiful. Snow needs to be shoveled, which gets me much needed exercise and fresh air. Shoveling snow gives me an opportunity to help others, which I greatly like. Snow limits travel, which causes many of us to slow down the hectic pace that we have chosen for our lifestyle. Snow can keep us indoors, allowing us the opportunity to spend more time with the people closest to us. Cars get stuck in the snow, and that allows me the opportunity to show a stranger that I care about their well being. Snow is awesome. You can ski on snow, go sledding on snow, and you can just plain goof around in the snow.

‘Gee, thanks for stating the obvious Bryn. What exactly is your point?’

Thanks for asking. At various times this winter, I have held each of these two contrasting perspectives. You could say that each perspective is legitimate and justified. But, I would argue that the latter perspective is more God-glorifying. There may be nothing ‘wrong’ with perspective ‘A’, but surely perspective ‘B’ is a better way to look at things.

In life there is always room for a variety of perspectives, and every perspective lies somewhere on the spectrum between positive and negative, pessimistic and optimistic.

I reckon that Christians ought to be modeling positive perspectives for the world to see. At all times, we should be looking for the opportunity to honour Christ with our vantage point and evaluation of things. We ought to practice seeing potential in the midst of less than ideal circumstances. Instead of seeing only problems, we should look ahead to solutions.

Christians have every reason to be hopeful. We believe in a God who is nearby. We believe that the Spirit of Christ is at work in the finer details of our life. We understand that God has a purpose for everything (Romans 8:28).

I want to share that hopefulness with others. I want others to see what is good. Moreover, I want others to see the gracious movements of God in our daily lives. Let’s lead the way with a positive perspective. We have every reason to do so. Our glass is more than half full, our ‘cup runneth over‘ (Psalm 23).

One thought on “Half full or Half empty?

  1. I have to admit – I started worship this morning by telling my congregation that I had decided to fire winter. I’d like to give excuses about the fact that my congregation is used to my sense of humor, or that I had reason to be cranky (especially since our guest soloist – a good friend of mine – was trapped in another town, unable to participate in worship this morning)…but the fact is, you’re right, Bryn.

    The ultimate irony is that one of the songs our guest soloist was going to sing in worship touches on this them. It’s called “Every Season” by Nichole Nordeman:

    Every evening sky, an invitation
    To trace the patterned stars
    And early in July, a celebration
    For freedom that is ours
    And I notice You
    In children’s games
    In those who watch them from the shade
    Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
    You are summer

    And even when the trees have just surrendered
    To the harvest time
    Forfeiting their leaves in late September
    And sending us inside
    Still I notice You when change begins
    And I am braced for colder winds
    I will offer thanks for what has been and is to come
    You are autumn

    And everything in time and under heaven
    Finally falls asleep
    Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
    Shivers underneath
    And still I notice you
    When branches crack
    And in my breath on frosted glass
    Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
    You are winter

    And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
    Teaching us to breathe
    What was frozen through is newly purposed
    Turning all things green
    So it is with You
    And how You make me new
    With every season’s change
    And so it will be
    As You are re-creating me
    Summer, autumn, winter, spring

    Thanks for the reminder to see God in the sparkly whiteness outside my window – and to see Christ in the hope that Spring will come…


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