Backpedaling

It’s confession time. I’m a cynic by nature—something that people who know me eventually figure out, and people who love me, tolerate. My destiny is to point out the downside of any given situation; I’m the foreseer of bumps in the road, the predictor of hindrances, and the applier of the wet blanket. And even though I’m not a real accountant, my day job as a budget manager is a perfect fit; I’m the bringer of unwelcome news like, “You can’t afford that. Nope. Your account is in deficit.” I used to be apologetic about my cynic-ness, but now I see myself as a counterbalance to blue-sky thinkers who depend on grounded attitudes like mine to tether their outrageous ideas to reality. Conversely, I appreciate the nothing-is-impossible mindset because it exposes me to ideas beyond my myopic vision.

When I came across Brenda Ueland’s broad, touchy-feely statement “Everybody is talented, original and had something important to say,” my knee-jerk reaction was, oh really! What about Kim Kardashian’s tweet about burning her finger? Is it really important that we all know about her mishap with a styling wand? Tweets like that seem to represent much of what’s found on the Web today, not only in silly, personal life tidbits, but in monotonous blogs on every subject and downright mean comments that are posted without restraint. Free speech should be spoken freely, but an endorsement like Ueland’s is overkill, right?

Upon further examination of Ueland’s work, I find the statement, “Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable.” Well, OK. If this is true (and it is), then a unique creation has unique thoughts and perspectives, and does, therefore, have something important to say—a blue-sky thing for me to admit. That personal revelation reminded of the wonderful passages in Psalm 139 that speak of my creation by the God of the universe, and I am dumbstruck at the thought. Lord, help me not take this gift of a unique perspective for granted. Help me to be bold in sharing it, but to be sensitive to the possible results of doing so.

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