Eeyore’s House: Melancholy or Mindful?
Of all the Winnie the Pooh characters, Eeyore is my favorite. I never really related to the others very well, though at times I may have wanted to be more like Tigger and his “bouncy” and energetic personality, or Pooh and his humility and gentleness, or Rabbit and his fastidiousness (OK, I have some of that in me, too), or Owl and his patient wisdom.
But I was drawn to Eeyore. At various times it was because I related to his apparently morose outlook on life, I felt unnoticed and unappreciated, or I wanted to be known for his unselfish dedication to his friends and his deep thinking. I still fall into each of those categories at various times, but I try to be in that last one more and more.
In one way, it’s easy to be Eeyore…the negative one. We say things like,
- “There’s no point in looking for a job I love. With so many people out of work, I’ll be lucky to find one that pays the bills.”
- “The world has never been in worse shape, and it’s still getting worse by the day.”
- “Why should anybody love me? I have nothing of value to bring to the world.”
- “My family relationships will never be able to move beyond where they are now. I’m stuck, and I’d better just learn to live with it.”
Have you heard statements like that? Have you made statements like that?
The Bible tells us that this mindset is not only counterproductive, it’s exactly the opposite of what God wants for you. In Philippians 4, Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“Sure, that’s easy for you to say,” you might respond. “You probably don’t have any big problems in your life right now, maybe you never have. I’d trade problems with you in a heartbeat. What do you know?”
Well, I know that I have my own share of problems and struggles. In fact, you might be surprised and less inclined to trade if you really knew what I’ve faced…and what I am facing.
More to the point, I know what Paul said, and I know he said it while he was in prison. That may sound bad enough, but you need to understand that in his time, people didn’t just “go to prison” for a while and then be released. Prison was where you went while you were awaiting trial. Then, if you were convicted, which you probably would be, you’d be put to death. Prison wasn’t just a bad place; it was the first step in a death sentence. That is what Paul was enduring when he wrote those words. How does your situation compare to that?
Choosing Your Perspective
The reality is, even when we choose to rejoice and be thankful, we aren’t shielded from the negative things in life. As Debra Fileta says, “But our response and perspective about those things is what leads us to the ending. God knows this to be true, and He challenges us to be thankful at all times. He knows the influence that this kind of attitude can have in our lives.”
I know it’s not easy sometimes, and you may not even want to hear this, but I’m not here just to commiserate with you and leave you stuck where you are. I’m here to sympathize with you, but also encourage and challenge you to look beyond your circumstances, look beyond what’s natural to think and feel, and move forward in a healthy, productive, Godly way.
This command of God’s isn’t dependent on circumstances. It has nothing to do with how you feel, how things look, or what the people around you are saying or doing. It comes strictly from God and our relationship with Him. The closer we are to Him, the more of His peace and joy flows into us…and through us.
When we have that kind of relationship with and connection with God, spending time with Him, talking to Him, and choosing to view things from His perspective, then more of the “positive Eeyore” comes through.
This is the Eeyore that I want to be like. He thinks and considers. He plans his actions and is deliberate. He’s committed to his friends. He’s a profound observer. He is methodical and persistent. Now, not all of these descriptions may fit exactly the kind of person you want to be (and if you’re not sure, I have a tool to help you), but most would agree that they are admirable qualities.
So, which Eeyore are you? The fearful, gloomy, defeated one or the helpful, thoughtful, positive one? Believe it or not, it really is your choice. [Tweet this]
Question: Which Eeyore are you right now? If you’re “gloomy Eeyore” what is one step you can take to begin to change your outlook? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.