Jake Fromm in fact. He’s a junior who plays quarterback for the University of Georgia, and he’s one of the top quarterbacks in college football. Fromm led the Bulldogs to a 12-2 record this year. They went on to win the Sugar Bowl. What I noticed was a tweet by ESPN’s Holly Rowe: “For the New Year, let’s all be shining a light in this world like @FrommJake.” That caught my eye.
Ms. Rowe had come to the conclusion that Mr. Fromm is “the world’s most positive person,” and – when she asked the 21-year-old about the reason for his optimism – the response she got was this: “The Holy Spirit in me! I’m trying to live out the most godly life I can do. I’m trying to influence others and hope they can see Christ in me.” Apparently Holly was overwhelmed by that answer. Perhaps we should be too.
According to the Stanford Research Institute, 87.5% of people’s success can be traced to their positive attitudes. I certainly don’t champion “the power of positive thinking” in the sense that “positive thinking” has a power all its own; in fact, those ideas nearly always end up exalting self and promoting humanism at the expense of the gospel. But I am persuaded that there is great benefit in seeing each day through the lens of our kind and loving God’s sovereignty over the world around us. It helps us persevere when the going gets tough. It helps us respond more graciously (both internally and externally) to unexpected circumstances and out-of-the-blue changes that come our way. It helps us flee jealousy, resentment, and bitterness. It helps us forgive. Come to think of it, a big dose of optimism – under the Lordship of Christ – sure can go a long way.
Think about that for a minute. When you and I live consciously under the umbrella of the goodness of God and His constant care for us, we are healthier people. Christ-centered optimism makes us healthier people in nearly every way. Surely that must be part of our calling here on Planet Earth – where we’re created and commissioned to shine brightly amidst the darkness. In light of the public platform which the Lord is enlarging for Jake, I hope that his optimism is contagious for God’s glory. Your optimism, and mine, matter too.
Holly Rowe went on to write of Jake: “Honestly brought me to tears today with his positive, lovely spirit. Many blessings to this young man. @GeorgiaFootball should be so proud to have him leading this team.” I wouldn’t mind something like that being said about my spirit. Wouldn’t you feel the same if it were said about your spirit? Whatever work God has in store for us in this new year, let’s do it all with that spirit. Such a “positive, lovely” human spirit would give honor to the Holy Spirit, if I may say so myself.
It’s certainly not the Bible’s simplest book to interpret, but Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 includes a fascinating thought: “What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart …”
2020 is here. Eternity knocks. Whether you’re tossing a football or tossing a salad, the time is now. Right now matters forever. Light it up, y’all!