When I visited Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln’s summer home, I learned that Robert, as president of the Pullman Company, exploited the people whom his father freed. Yet black Pullman porters rose up to extend civil rights and social justice. Pullman porter E.D. Nixon paid Rosa Parks’ bail in Montgomery, Alabama, and asked a young Martin Luther King, Jr. to lead a bus boycott there. And Pullman porter A. Philip Randolph called for the 1963 March on Washington which culminated in King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Catastrophizing may be a new word, but it is not a new phenomenon. What we need is a sabbatical, a rest from worrying about our catastrophes and fixating on what we conjure up as the worst possible outcomes.
The gift of frankincense, first given to the babe in the manger, now becomes a gift to you and a symbol of your ministerial service as an ambassador for Christ, ministering in his name to bring people together again in reconciliation.
You have heard how a pessimist says “My cup is half empty” and an optimist says “My cup is half full.” A person of faith says “My cup runneth over.” These are the most powerful four words of gratitude ever written.