Water walking dogs and half-full glasses

Published 9:30 am Friday, December 23, 2011

By KEN LETSON / Guest Columnist

Two friends — one an optimist and the other a pessimist — could never quite agree on any topic of discussion. One day the optimist decided he had found a good way to pull his friend out of his continually pessimistic way of thinking.

The optimist owned a hunting dog that could walk on water. His plan? Take the pessimist and the dog out duck hunting in a boat.

They got out into the middle of the lake, and the optimist shot down a duck. The dog immediately walked across the water, retrieved the duck, and walked back to the boat.

The optimist looked at his pessimistic friend and said, “What do you think about that?”

The pessimist replied, “That dog can’t swim, can he?”

Some people are like that, you know. The glass is always half empty to them. They always see the down side of things, and they have a way of bringing everybody else down with them.

What’s even worse, many of those people are Christians, which is almost a contradiction in terms. If there’s anybody on the planet who should have a hope-filled, positive perspective, it’s believers in Jesus Christ. We who are saved by our faith should live by it, and faith, by definition, believes in the possibilities of what God can and will do.

So, how about you? Are your words filled with promise and possibility, or with negativism and frustration? Do you rejoice in all that is good, or complain about what’s not? Do you see water-walkers or non-swimmers? Half full, or half empty?  The choice, quite frankly, is up to you.

The apostle Paul suggested as much when he said in his letter to the Philippians that we should choose to “think on” those things that are good, instead of dwelling on those that aren’t:  “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things….And the God of peace will be with you.”  (Phil. 4:8-9)

The Rev. Ken Letson is pastor at the Church at Shelby Crossing in Calera. You can reach him at kenletson@shelbycrossings.com.