August 19, 2010

Positive Energy

I had to do it.  I had to "hide" you on my facebook page.  You're still my "friend," both on facebook and in real life.  After all, we've known each other almost twenty years, and some of the conversations we've had have helped shape the way I think. 

So my decision to "hide" you was made reluctantly.  However, it was a decision I had to make.  By "hiding" you, I no longer have to see your frequent updates, which consistently spread negative energy.  I no longer have to read about (for example) the annoying children you saw at the restaurant, or the rude person who rang up your groceries, or the flight that was delayed only because the airline was intent on ruining your life.

Everyone has a bad day now and then, but I wonder:  do you ever meet children who aren't annoying?  Do you ever have a friendly conversation in the checkout line?  Do you ever give thanks to God that your flight was on time, or even for the fact that a many-ton aircraft full of people is able to get off the ground at all, and arrive safely at its destination?

Don't get me wrong; I do understand that life can be stressful.  However, that just means that it's all that much more important to seek out positive energy, to pay attention to the blessings of life, and to tune out, as much as possible, the negative energy.  This is why I turn off the TV news.  This is why I avoid movies with violence or lots of yelling.  This is why I walk or ride my bike to work along tree-lined streets, rather than commute by freeway.  Freeways are full of negative energy, especially in southern California during rush hour.

As you know, I am a preacher.  I've preached nearly every Sunday for the past thirteen years.  I'm still figuring out what kind of preacher I want to be.  I'm still trying to decide what my "preaching style" is.

One thing I do know, though, is that I want my preaching to be filled with positive energy.  Yes, the gospel calls me to point out the injustice in the world, but there is always good news to share.  Sometimes it's the good news that God shares in the suffering of the people.  Sometimes it's the good news that, as people of faith, we are called to work for justice and an end to suffering.  But always, there is good news.

Mother Teresa once said that she would never attend an anti-war rally, but that if you were to have a peace rally, be sure to invite her.  That's the kind of message I need to hear.  That's the type of positive energy I need more of, if I am to avoid becoming a bitter man.  So please forgive me for "hiding" your updates on my facebook page.

In the meantime (and I say this with all sincerity):  Have a nice day.

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