What are some possible answers to this riddle?
1. Lose pessimism and find optimism.
2. Lose the fear of something and find the self-confidence to deal with the feared situation.
3. Lose the comfort of sticking with a bad habit, and find you can endure the discomfort of making a healthy lifestyle change.
4. Lose the certainty and predictability of a boring and unsatisfying job, for the unpredictability of a new and likely exciting new career path.
5. Lose the security of living in your parents home to find that you can live and support yourself, independently.
6. Graduate from high school or college to find your way in the real world of work or more advanced schooling.
7. Give up a high paying and secure job in order to find out if you can become a successful entrepreneur and start your own company.
8. Lose your gall bladder and find out how much better you feel when you have recovered from surgery.
9. Give up on and lose a bad idea in order to find a new, more promising one.
10. Lose the opportunity to travel to Europe so you can be with and at your mother’s bedside during her terminal illness and when she passes.
All ten of the above are examples of possible answers to the riddle posed at the outset. But, here below is the story that inspired the idea for this post and serves as an example of a kind of transformational lost and found.
The Transformational Lost and Found of Optimism
This is the story of William P. Nicholson, a timid and shy man whose life was transformed when he finally and fully devoted his life to Jesus Christ during an evangelical movement in the early 1900’s. ( V Raymond Edmund, They Found the Secret: Twenty Transformed Lives that Reveal a Touch of Eternity, pp. 107-110 found in The Unseen Guest, by David R. Mains, Mainstay Church Resources, Wheaton, Illinois, 2001.)
* The Salvation Army had come to town led by two “wee girls" in uniform and a first soldier named “Daft Jimmy” who appeared slightly dimwitted. William Nicholson had been resisting the call to devote his life to Christ. He was afraid that marching down the street with these three would make him the laughing stock of the town when suddenly, as if he had lost all self-control, he accepted a tambourine from one of the “wee girls” and led the way down main street to Salvation Army building. He was laughed at and ridiculed just as he had feared and expected, had been avoiding for days.
Here is what he said about his march down the street:
* "I started down the street, whether in body or out of body, I can’t tell. I lost my reputation, and fear of man: joy and peace and glory filled me."
In that moment when he came out-and-out for Christ, he said:
* "I lost my reputation (marching along side wee girls and a daft fellow) and my fear of man (shyness and timidity), and found the joy and peace of the overflowing fullness of the Spirit. Hallelujah!”
Imagine being transformed by joy and optimism about life such that you never wanted to find the reputation and character traits you lost.
What would you like to lose in order to find more optimism?
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