I allow myself an hour of News Channel surfing every night. I get a small dosage of everything, although some are more difficult to stomach than others. It seems we are starting to get a sprinkling of good news mixed with the bad. Curves are beginning to flatten. Hospitals are beleaguered, but keeping up with the flow of illness (with a few hot-spot exceptions). I don’t want to diminish anyone’s pain. I don’t want to gloss over a single death. I just want to pause and acknowledge that searching for silver linings is a good (and biblical) way to go through life.
Silver Linings Playbook
The movie Silver Linings Playbook tells the story of Patrick “Pat” Solatano, Jr., a man with bipolar disorder who was committed to a psychiatric hospital after he beat up his wife’s lover.
The movie opens as Solatano is released from the hospital and moves back in with his parents. Determined to win back his estranged wife (who has placed a restraining order on him), he meets recently widowed Tiffany Maxwell who offers to help him get his wife back if he will enter a dance competition with her. The two become closer as they train. Pat, his father, and Tiffany examine their relationship with each other as they learn to cope with their problems.
The author of the book that the movie is based on (the book is good, but the movie is better) originally intended the story to portray the lengths people will go to impress people, and that sometimes what we are looking for is right in front of us. This is the key play in the Silver Linings Playbook.
The Apostle Paul and Silver Linings
Paul expressed the same truth when he wrote a letter to his friends living in a village called Philippi. Paul was under house arrest in Rome, awaiting an audience with the Emperor. Unbeknownst to Paul, Emperor Nero had gone completely crazy. Paul’s life was in the hands of a crazy man.
In spite of Paul’s bleak situation, he gave the Christians in Philippi this stunning advice:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8).
It’s Paul’s Silver Linings Playbook.
As you go through life, look for the good in every situation and in every person.
My Pandemic Silver Linings List
In light of this biblical idea, I have decided to go through my week spotting Silver Linings. I encourage you to make your own list. Here’s mine:
My neighbors are outside walking a lot more (and they wave at me!).
Children are riding bicycles again (I see them in my neighborhood and the bicycle section at Walmart was empty).
People are reaching out to each other for help.
The elderly are a point of concern and focus.
I’m having dinner with my wife every night.
I’ve discovered the art of cooking.
I don’t need as much as I thought I did (doing without is sometimes good for me).
I hope you have a great week spotting all your Silver Linings!