And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. [Romans 8:28 (TLB)]
When someone has an unduly optimistic or positive view of things, they are often said to be wearing “rose-colored glasses.” According to Adam Anderson, a University of Toronto professor of psychology, our moods actually affect the way we see things and, as moods change, so does our visual perception. “Good and bad moods literally change the way our visual cortex operates,” says the professor about a 2009 study he conducted. ”In a positive mood,” he explained, “our visual cortex takes in more information, while negative moods result in tunnel vision.” He concluded that the better our mood, the better able our brains are to comprehend what it is our eyes are seeing. In short, we see better when we have a positive outlook and are wearing rose-colored glasses!
I imagine it was a set of rose-colored glasses that allowed young David to see the possibility of defeating the huge Goliath with his sling. In all of Saul’s army, there had to have been other brave men equally skilled with a sling. Because of their despair and pessimism, however, they never saw what was right in front of them—an enormous man, encumbered by a coat of mail weighing 125 pounds, wearing heavy bronze leg armor, and carrying a javelin, spear and sword. Instead of seeing a man so weighed down that he needed another man to carry his shield, they saw an undefeatable opponent. David, however, saw someone who wouldn’t be able to move fast enough to dodge a well-aimed stone. That stone wasn’t from a child’s toy sling-shot; it came from a shepherd’s weapon used to kill wild animals. According to Malcom Gladwell, that sling had the stopping power of a .45 caliber handgun. With their defeatist attitude, Saul and his army only saw the power of the enemy. David’s optimism allowed him to clearly see both the enemy’s weakness and his own strength and skill!
Like Saul and his army, when the disciples found themselves in the midst of a storm, the fearful men had tunnel vision. They only saw danger and impending death. If they’d put on some rose-colored glasses, they would have seen the one who can calm storms sleeping in their boat! Rose-colored glasses can help us see what is right in front of us. A positive attitude is what helps us notice any weakness in the opposition, find detours in life’s roadblocks, identify solutions to our problems, and spot help when we need it.
We actually can purchase rose-colored glasses but, unless they have corrective lenses, they’ll not improve our eyesight. Faith in God, however, is what offers us the kind of rose-colored glasses that give clarity to life and allow us to see the big picture. It is knowing Jesus that enables us to face each morning with optimism, joy and hope. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that allows us to see our challenges as opportunities to do God’s will. So, put on your rose-colored glasses and see what wonderful things the day will bring!