There are 2 type of people in the world…. those that put people in categories and those that don’t! (I couldn’t resist). Or what about: There are 3 types of people in this world, those who can count and those that can’t. Have you ever heard that phrase or used it, “there are 2 types of people”? One of the most common is... there are 2 types of people in this world, optimists and pessimists. To be smart (not in a good way) I would normally say “actually I’m neither I’m a realist!”
Being a realist seems more sophisticated, more switched on, cool even. But the truth is, it's not. The truth is I don’t want to be a realist. Realists never change the world! Often realism is another name for fatalism. I can’t change it, it will always be this way and there’s nothing we can do about it. My experience says that it can’t be done, that its improbable, impossible even. Realists are usually constrained, held back, fenced in by what they believe is possible or probable or reasonable.
Some of my friends in the states have a dog. Now the dog is prone to wander so they bought one of those electric collars. It works like this. There’s a wire around their backyard (garden), and if the dog gets near it, the collar buzzes. If the dog goes a bit farther, it gets a small shock. It doesn’t take long for the dog to realize that after the buzz comes the shock and it learns to never go near the edge. Now the thing is, it only works when they turn it on and most of the time they forget. But the dog now associates the collar with the boundaries and never leaves the yard. The boundary is in its head, not in the system.
We are more like that than we care to admit. Realists believe I can never get out of where I am. I can never really change. I will always be like this, always do this, always... you fill in the blank. Realists rarely dream of a going near the edge, breaking through the boundary or doing something others think can never be done! In truth sometimes realists struggle to be men and women of faith, struggle to believe that God can actually do something that they have never seen or experienced before. That’s why I don’t want to be a realist. May God redraw the boundaries of what we believe is possible and may all of us “realists” come to understand “just because I haven’t seen it, just because it seems improbable, just because it's unrealistic doesn’t mean God can’t do it.”
The challenge, I believe, is to ask the question of ourselves everyday, “What does God want to do?” What does God want to do in your life, family, or circumstance? Embrace what God wants, and be prepared to embrace change.