Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Plus + or Minus

This weekend I overheard a conversation that jarred me out of my usual morning complacency. Two gentlemen were discussing their work environment, their bosses and the people with whom they served through their work. The tone kept going downhill, one complaint followed another, each seeming worse than the previous. When I actually saw their faces, I realized I knew them both at least to some degree. To all appearances, they are normal healthy men with good steady jobs. To counter the negativity I was hearing, a thought or an inspiration hit me: "I sure don't want to go through life with a negativity chip on my shoulder.Life is too brief, and God is too good to be labeled a complainer!"
It's easier to take a slip downwards and join in when someone lodges a just complaint. Yet as I heard this weekend, the pile of negativity just gets bigger and bigger. This morning as I was meditating the simple minus and plus signs I learned in second grade flashed before me.
The minus sign is the "take away" symbol: negativity takes away joy and often it takes away our peace. It may be a symptom of depression or fatigue. The vertical line which intersects a horizontal line and makes a plus (or a cross) adds to, enhances the value of what it stands in front of. I know that I desire a full life. That is, I want to make the most of whatever time God allows me on this earth. To the unavoidable minus situations in my life--be they health issues, airport delays, nasty remarks, or other unpleasantness--I want to add the vertical dimension and make a plus out of them. One author has said that the vertical bar of the cross leads us to God. In the morning I pray a Morning Offering--giving all my day back to God. That helps me to turn the minus signs of my life into positive plus signs. May you have a truly blessed day!

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