Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Hope for Today (and Tomorrow and the Next Day . . . )

Here's a snippet of a prayer from mass that is such a comfort every day:

"Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety . . ."

Today, may you have peace, protection from anxiety, and be free of sin!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th (and an update on September 10th)

My parents gave me a book in early 2001 called “Positive Thinking for Every Day of the Year” that features daily Bible verses and commentary by Norman Vincent Peale. The passage for September 11 (remember this had to be published near the end of 2000), is about how it may appear that the evil flourish while the good suffer. It relates an anecdote from a farmer that, “God doesn’t pay all His debts on the first of January,” i.e. over time those that are good benefit from their devotion and attention to others.

Today’s gospel at mass is Lk 6:27-38 which talks about loving your enemies and doing good things for those that hate you.

It’s no coincidence that these readings both fall on today.

Quick update to yesterday’s post: Immediately after writing and posting it, I intended to copy it to the file that I keep with all the posts I’ve written since starting blogging last November – nearly 60,000 words. Word asked if I wanted to over-write the file name, and through inattention and habit, I said yes. The entire file of posts was gone – replaced by yesterday’s post about focusing on good outcomes instead of planning against negatives. With no backup to the file, it appears that God is taking me up on my commitment to change and throwing me right into situations to test me!



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Embracing Optimism vs. Mitigating Negatives

Talking with a friend recently about future plans, she noted that she's usually too optimistic about everything turning out well. I asked her how often her optimistic outlooks become reality. She replied that they do most of the time.

I told her that in contrast, I generally envision the worst possible outcome in most situations and then use that to help plan for how to mitigate all the bad things happening. The interesting part is that I can't really recall one instance where my worst case scenario even remotely happened.

My challenge coming away from the conversation is how I can adopt an outlook closer to hers since there's great opportunity in working toward a positive versus working against a negative. Comes back to trust and faith in God's plan. A familiar theme. One I'll be praying about for help.