Friday, December 07, 2012

The One Sentence Plan

I finally finished reading Babar the King to Princess Peach last night (I'd forgotten that when the story is that detailed, one must read in installments.  It's like Harry Potter, only with elephants). The final line, offered by the King's friend the Old Lady after she recovers from a harrowing snakebite emergency, is this:

"Don't you see how in this life one must never be discouraged?  Let's work hard and cheerfully and we'll continue to be happy."

Not a bad perspective.  I'm not sure I can pull it off with any consistency, but it seems like something worth striving for.

I think most of us need some sort of goal or standard by which to measure our choices as we make them. Not a grand standard, like the entirety of the Bible, but a bite-size synthesis that is consistent with the Bible, but manageable to consider in 15 seconds or less. It's handy to have some one-sentance reminders of who and how I'm hoping to be.

"Let's work hard and cheerfully" seems like a good one for me this season. It's so easy to get overwhelmed. And when things pile up, my reaction tends to be a low level of frustration about everything, even the things I like doing, or I get to do because God rocks.  A decision to go about my days - in this season of in the meantime, navigating the gap between what I see now and what I'm praying for - with a pre-made decision to work hard and cheerfully, seems like it could actually accomplish what the Old Lady promises: happiness.

(of course it also sounds a bit like one of those Chinese propaganda posters from the Cultural Revolution.  Which may be why when I Google images for "work hard and cheerfully," it pulls up this picture of a folder labeled, People I Want To Punch In The Face. So I guess we'll just see how it goes...)

Do you have a reminder or slogan you use to keep you on track in the day-to-day?  Please share, in case this one doesn't work out! :)


Rachael said...

My mantra is "Everything happens for a reason." It is sometimes followed by "and it all works for the best" but I have learned it is better to say "and it is all in God's hands" as saying something that makes me sad is for the best doesn't feel right!

homeschoolingmom said...

"This is the day The Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Somehow I think your Barbara quote would have been more effective when I was trying to lecture my kids when they were younger. I am certainly going to try it when tackling homework with my son tonight!

Anonymous said...

"I can't always be happy, but I can always be cheerful." (a quote from opera singer Beverly Sills)