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Positives often have negatives. Allow me to explain.
Positive: A woman had the hood of her car open. When I walked by she asked for a because the car didn’t start. I grabbed the jumper cables and a car. The woman was grateful to me because no one else offered to help her
Negative: The act of kindness made me late for a meeting and I got a brow-beating when I arrived.
Positive: I spent extra time preparing for my Greek class because I know passive participles can be difficult for students. It paid off because I had one of my better classes.
Negative: I had to turn down someone who needed my help before the class, and he walked away sad.
Positive. I let a car cut in front of me in heavy traffic. The out-of-state driver was in the wrong lane, and I wanted to help.
Negative: The guy behind me was mad because I made him miss the green light.
Do you ever wonder why you put forth your best effort to do good, and at the end of the day everyone is mad at you? That is because many positives have negatives. The letter of James has an answer for this. He suggests that we acquire “wisdom from above.” What exactly does that mean? It means to live in the positive.
One day I had to cook for the community. I went to the grocery store with my list of items. There I was with hundreds of other tired and hungry people trying to get their list of food. Right away I run into a lady blocking the aisle with her cart. She was oblivious that I was there as she reading price labels on the shelf. So I had to wait. Negative. I finally got to the checkout and there were long lines. Negative. The person in front of me had lots of expired coupons and the cashier carefully explained each one of them to the customer. Negative. I arrived at my car and when I went to pull out an elderly man walked in front of the car walking very slowly. Another negative. I finally got out of the parking lot only to jump into rush hour traffic–more negatives. I could live my life absorbed in all those negatives.
But what if the lady that blocked the aisle with her cart was the nice person who helped me with my credit card problem when someone tried to buy Amaxon.com with my card? Or what if the cashier was there since six in the morning but decided to stay longer to help the rush hour folks get home a little faster? What if the man who walked in front of my car was the doctor who saved my father’s life when he had cancer twenty years ago? What if my life is blessed because I am surrounded by unsung heroes? If positives have negatives, then negatives have positives. The negatives are more obvious, more visible, to us. That is why we need the wisdom of God. To live in the positive. There is an inspiring prayer in the book of Numbers known as Aaron’s blessing. May the Lord Bless you and keep you, may his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May he look upon you and give you peace.” I believe God gave us that prayer to reassure us that we are in a constant state of blessedness. We just have to have the wisdom to see it.Back to All Homilies