Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pity The Eeyores


I write this article as one skilled in the practice of Eeyore-ness to all the other Eeyores in the world.

In case you've lived in a bubble, Eeyore is the eternally pessimistic donkey in the Winnie The Pooh stories. No matter how wonderful things are, no matter how happy everyone else is, Eeyore is not. He always sees the downside of everything, always doubts, always fears. His dark cloud is his protection. If he always expects the worse, then nothing can disappoint him. Yet, because of his attitude, he lives perpetually disappointed.

There were Eeyores around Jesus. Thomas would not believe the report that Jesus was risen from the grave until he could touch him. Martha would not enjoy Jesus' presence in her home because Mary would not help with the dishes. There are Eeyores in every crowd in every age. Monks have elevated Eeyoreness to a virtue. Artists and musicians have embraced it. Today Eeyores are called Emo, and identify themselves with the virtue of joylessness.

How sad it is to be so sad when God is so good. How sad it is when God lights up a room to be the one under the cloud. How sad it is to live in fear, so that no matter how good God is we fear He will not be that good tomorrow or to us. How sad it is to be so self-focused that we miss what God is doing all around us, and so miss what He would do in us if we would only believe.

Whether our cause is pessimism, self-protection, fear, a self-focused life, or even the misdirected compassion that sucks us down into the pit with those we have compassion for, the real reason for Eeyore-ness is a lack of trust in God. Joy is the product of trust in God, and no matter what is happening outside of us, there will be a cloud over us if we do not trust God regardless. Eeyore-ness is not a virtue. Pessimism does not reflect thoughtfulness or practicality. In the end it is simply a public demonstration of distrust in God.

May God never let us remain under the cloud for long.