As I was growing up, one of my youngest sister’s favorite bedtime stories was Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne. The characters are so charming and the stories oh, so amusing! I want to draw attention to two of the characters from Winnie the Pooh that remind me the most of people I have met in the church.
The first one is Eeyore. To Eeyore, the sky is always dark and ominous; think – the worst thing that could possibly happen most likely will happen. His gloomy personality is shown by some of his quotes:
“After all, what are birthdays? Here today and gone tomorrow.”
“They’re funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you’re having them.”
“One can’t complain. I have my friends. Someone spoke to me only yesterday.”
“Good morning, Pooh Bear, if it is a good morning, which I doubt.”
And then there is Winnie the Pooh. He goes about his life with a naïve innocence and sweet simplicity. If he is hungry and wants some honey, he just goes and gets it without a worry of the dangers or the consequences. For Pooh Bear every day is sunny and everyone he meets is his friend.
His bubbly, cuddly personality can be seen in some of his quotes:
“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”
“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.”
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
And my personal favorite:
“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”
I just love Pooh! And I think we need more Poohs in the church. A person (or bears!) who will go in and triumph over the Promised Land that God has given them. But instead, in the church we have Eeyores who don’t think they can do anything (or are unwilling to put in the hard work!) needed to get what God has promised to them.
As members of the Body of Christ we are faced with the choice to live lives in our Hundred Acre Woods – our Promised Land. There is plenty of honey for each one that dares to cross over into the Woods, but we need to face our challenges with optimism and believe God can help us get what he has promised to us. Then we need the individual and communal fortitude to go out there and do it!
Seems to me we have a choice about how we want to live in our special part of the land. We can whine, or we can win. Which will you choose?