An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? ~Rene Descartes
I never realized how much I like the GPS until we went to the UK. “Judy” told us every twist and turn along the way. We didn’t get lost- not once. Even on the one-way bridge that I was certain was closed, Judy saw us safely to our destination.
A couple of years later when we visited French Quebec, we bought a SIM card for Canada. But most places in Canada weren’t covered by our phone. Once we made it through border patrol, we discovered Judy was mute.
Our French leaves a lot to be desired, and we hadn’t brought a map because, well, Judy.
We headed north and prayed.
Searching for the Plains of Abraham park in Quebec City wasn’t so bad. There were a few signs that sent us in the right direction, but then we had to find parking. The directions I had looked at and printed before we left home didn’t prepare us for construction or a festival.
We pulled into a parking garage, put the truck in park, and breathed a sigh of relief. We had made it.
Only we hadn’t.
We couldn’t figure out how to get out of the parking garage. I know. I know. How hard could it be?
We entered the doors for pedestrians and were suddenly trapped in a maze of corridors and French-only signs. Arrows pointed to the ‘sortie’ but that was the exit for the people who worked in the attached office building.
We followed more arrows to a door. I started to open it, but Matt noticed the ‘urgence seulement’ and stopped me. He had seen a sign with listed fines for opening the door.
After half an hour- no exaggeration- we made our way into the sunlight.
What does that have to do with the Bible?
Matt and I approach problems differently. I am an optimist; he is a pessimist. I am a “push the door open and see what happens” kind of gal; he is a “keep-your-butt-out-of-prison” kind of guy. We work well together. I provide the excitement; he provides the stability.
Both are needed.
We need people in the kingdom who can take us on a wild ride of adventure, and we need people who look ahead and read the signs. We need heads that think, eyes that see, and hearts that weep and rejoice. (1 Corinthians 12) The kingdom needs optimists to say, “We can enter the land.” (Numbers 14) And the kingdom needs pessimists who are willing to prophesy even when we know no one will listen. (Jeremiah 7:27)
Sometimes pessimists get a bad rap from us optimists. They never have fun. They don’t want to try something new. They think too much.
And sometimes pessimists don’t give optimists enough credit. That will never work. There they go again leaping before they look. Why don’t they ever think these things through?
But when we work together we can break out of the parking garage and get moving again.