I don't recall who said it, and I have no idea when I first heard it, but somewhere along the line I picked up this saying: "Don't think how you can't; think how you can."
In other words, instead of concentrating on the obstacles in your path, try and come up with a way around the obstacles, or over them, or under them, or maybe even a way to get rid of them altogether. If I look at all the reasons why something can't happen, it never will. If I think creatively and positively, there is no limit to what might get done.
I must confess to great difficulty here. My natural inclination is to see the glass half empty, rather than half full. Penny often calls me "Eeyore," the sad, depressed donkey from the Winnie the Pooh books. My brother once described a relative of ours as a person capable of "seeing Armageddon coming on a sunny day." Unfortunately, my vision isn't much better.
So thinking of how I can instead of how I can't does not come naturally for me. Maybe that's why I love a good joke so much. Laughter can veil - for a few moments, at least - the dead ends lurking on the paths laid out before me.
But the older I get the more I want to deny the dark side its power. Nothing of any value has ever been created out of despair. Nothing of any consequence has ever been fueled by negativism. Besides, if I really believe in a God who can bring resurrections out of crucifixions then I'm a hypocrite to throw in the towel on any endeavor worth doing.
The reason I mention all this is because I'm hearing a bit too much doomsday talk about our current financial condition. Granted, it is serious, and I would be lying if I said I hadn't spent a few restless nights fretting over it.
But I believe in the generosity of FCC people, and I believe we have a congregation that can rise to the occasion and solve the problem. I also believe there are avenues and ideas we have not explored yet because we have been thinking too much about what can't be done instead of thinking about what can be done.
The same goes for our proposed renovation plans. We put the plans on hold while we explored the possibility of buying the property next door. But just because the purchase of the Templo site hit a brick wall is no reason to throw away the dream of a refurbished educational building. There are those who say it is crazy to think about embarking on a major building project when our budget is on life support. I disagree. I say it is time to dust off those plans and think how it can be done instead of how it can't.
Perhaps I'm being naïve. Perhaps I'm being idealistic. Or perhaps God wants to do something exciting among us, and our negative spirit is the only thing holding us back. Which way is the Spirit leading you?