I’m not really an optimist. I’m an optimalist. Adding the “al” makes all the difference between the two. I’m not like an optimist who looks only for the good in any situation. Rather, I look for what good can be done in response to any situation. I take what is there and look for what I can do to make it “optimal.”
The truth is that we’re never in control over whether a situation is good or bad. We are only in control over how optimal our response to it will be. The world around us isn’t always good, nor is our future always going to be good. But we can always strive to make our response to whatever happens good. I believe that when we do this, we create room for the Spirit to make things good.
In fact, to be Christians means to be an optimalist. The history of Christianity has always been the history of people who face any situation and ask, “How is God calling us to make this better?”
With God’s Blessings,
Dr. N. Graham Standish