I’m learning that faith isn’t about fantasy or foolish superstition. It’s a matter of choosing an attitude of grace, optimism and humility.
Grace – Letting things go. We free ourselves of the pain of anger for transgressions – real or perceived – against us. Does the other person deserve to be let off the hook? Who cares? You’re hurting yourself by carrying the burden. I choose freedom through grace.
Optimism – Trusting that good and bad experiences ultimately produce the best possible outcome. It sucks to eat our spinach. Preparing for a marathon involves hours of grueling training. The tough stuff prepares us for the good stuff. Sometimes we don’t get to see the good that comes from the experience.
Many people who changed the course of the world were ridiculed and ostracized while alive … Their contributions recognized after their death.
Faithful optimism isn’t about doing nothing and hoping something good will happen. It’s doing the hard work with the expectation that the outcome will be good. And trusting it is good even when the outcome isn’t what you expect or want.
Humility – Giving the credit elsewhere when something goes well or we do a good deed … We don’t make it about us. We make it about something bigger than we are. There’s a lot less pressure to perform when your the quality of your performance is attributed else where.
Choosing a life where we forgive, look for the best in the worst and give the credit away isn’t easy. I screw it up every day. But I’m a hell of a lot happier trying than when I don’t.
Living a life of faith used to seem like foolish folly to me. Now, not living that way seems to be the foolishness. Maybe that makes me a fool. If it does, I’ll stick with my idiots delight.
- Why Some People Have All the Luck (blogs.hbr.org)
- Learning Optimism with the 24×3 Rule (blogs.hbr.org)