ANYWAY, back to the question at hand. Is the glass half empty or full? When the unexpected dilemma crosses your path, is your immediate response to freak out, beat yourself up over what you should’ve done, and worry about how horribly everything could end? Or. Do you apologize and move on, do your best to fix the issue, and try to learn something from it? A seemingly silly question that has troubled people for generations, it’s actually quite important. The way we view situations completely changes our heart responses.
For example, I recently heard Julie Myer speak on Matthew 25:1-13, the parable of the 10 virgins. In this parable, Jesus tells of 10 virgins who are eagerly awaiting the return of their bridegroom. They have their lamps filled with oil and are ready to go as soon as He comes. But, there’s a catch here– five of the virgins are foolish and five are wise. The 5 wise ones have stored up extra oil in their lamps, whereas the 5 foolish ones have just enough oil to get by. When the Bridegroom comes back, the foolish ones find that their lamps are burning out!“Give us some of your oil!” they plead with the 5 wise virgins.”If we give some to you, there won’t be enough for us. Go into town and buy some more oil.” was the (paraphrased) reply. However, while the foolish women were out buying oil, the Bridegroom returned. The 5 wise virgins went in and joined Him for the wedding feast, but the foolish virgins came too late and were left out.
Julie explained that, we need to begin storing up oil for ourselves, so that we will be ready for whatever season the Lord leads us in. Oil, she said, represents our history in Christ. That’s why the 5 wise virgins couldn’t share their oil. Although you can teach others and pray for them, you can’t give them your history. They have to get their own.
As she was speaking, I felt this mega lump well up in my throat. Oh. My. Goodness. For the longest time, I thought I was doing pretty good on the “storing up oil” department. But this lady was beginning to make me feel uncomfortable. Could it be possible that I didn’t have as much oil as I’d like to believe? *Gasp!* My palms began to sweat and my breathing shallowed. “I’m doomed! I’ll be left out of the marriage feast! Please forgive me! I’m sorry! Ahhhhh!” For a split second, I felt panicked.
But, wait. She wasn’t done speaking. Instead of leaving me in a bottomless pit of fear and anxiety, Julie began to encourage the audience. “If you realize that you haven’t stored up oil, or don’t have as much as you’d like, that’s okay. Today you can resign up! Every little prayer you whisper, every ‘yes’ that you give Jesus– that’s like a drop of oil going into your lamp! Today, Holy Spirit is giving you an invitation to sign up again and go deeper in the Lord. God is so good and full of so much grace and love for you!”
Woah. Talk about two different point of views. My first thought was to be scared and anticipate my doom. She, however, viewed it as an opportunity to love Jesus more and encounter Him in new ways. My reaction caused fear, and pretty much left me numb. Her response caused hope and inspired us to grow. My glass was half empty. Her’s was half full. See how something as simple as perspective can completely transform a situation? When we ask the Lord to help us see ourselves and our situations through His eyes, it changes everything!
Now, I just have to ask, is your glass half empty or half full?