Pollyanna is one of my heroes. The doe eyed, infuriatingly positive orphan of Eleanor H Porter’s creation, is one of those people that love her or hate her, you cannot simply ignore her.
Ever been around a person who always finds something to be happy about, in every kind of gruesome or demoralising situation? The kind of person that, when you are in that place of self-pity or pessimism, you would love nothing more than to punch them in the face for their upbeat attitude? Well, that’s Pollyanna.
Pollyanna was a young girl who could have had plenty of reason to be sad, scared, lonely, and miserable. Orphaned, sent to live with a stern aunt who did not want or appreciate her, forgotten and alone; yet Pollyanna was somehow always to be found with a smile on her face and a kind word for those around her. She would always play the game that her father had taught her, “The Glad Game”. Before he had passed away, her father had explained, “if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times [in the Bible] to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it”. In every scenario, Pollyanna always found something to be glad about. In one stand off between her and one of the maids, the maid, trying to catch her out on her game, asks in a contemptuous voice, “Well, it’s Sunday. There is absolutely nothing to be glad about on sundays. What to you say to that?” Pollyanna replied haltingly, “well, on Sunday, we can be glad that…um…that… it is a whole week before the next Sunday!”
I like to play “The Glad Game”. It helps me to remember how much there is to be thankful for. Usually, once I start, there is nothing that can stop me; overwhelmed as I am by the incredible blessing and goodness in my life. The truth is that when you look for the good in something, you will usually find it. The same goes for people; look for the gold in them, and you will undoubtedly find it. Oh yes, there are most definitely less than good things to find as well, but why look at those? I tend to find that when I believe the best of someone, it draws the best out of them. As the Reverend in Pollyanna’s village reflects, “We looked for the good in them, and we found it, didn’t we?”
If you are scared, sad, lonely, or just plain miserable, try to find something to be glad about. You’re still alive, yes? Do you have somewhere to sleep tonight? Have you overcome worse? You too could find that as you are thankful, your anxieties dissolve in the light of the grace that surrounds you.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Phillippians 4:6
PS. What are you glad about?! Why don’t you share for others to be encouraged? If you can’t find anything to be glad about, let me know, I’d be glad (see what I did there 😉 ) to help you try to discover something!