Childlike Optimism

We were walking back to the car tonight. Amy carried Jack in a sling and Will rode on my shoulders. We had gone to the fair to watch the rides and enjoy the lights and tire out our 2 year old. And we were on our way back to the car ... or so we thought.

As we approached the car, I asked Will where we were going. Without hesitation, he said "Ice Cream" and pointed across the parking lot. 100 yards, maybe more. Poorly lit. Filled with cars. No ice cream in the parking lot.

Beyond the parking lot, there was a half-abandoned strip mall. Actually, we were looking at the side of a half-abandoned strip mall. One store had a light on. The rest was dark.

I was faced with a choice.

I could shut this down. I could say something like "There's no ice cream store here, buggy." He would be fine. We'd get in the car and go home.

I could discourage this. I could say something like "I don't see any ice cream store here, buggy." There might be ice cream on the unseen side of the half-abandoned strip mall, but it was a low probability. My discouragement might lead him to withdraw his request. We'd get in the car and go home.

I could do something else. And this is what I did. I shrugged my shoulders (shrugging him in the process). And said "Let's see." We hiked through the dark over to the corner of the building. We looked around the corner. And there, right there, was an ice cream store.

Call it what you will: faith, hope, optimism. Will led us to ice cream tonight, through the dark and even when no one could see it.

What would change in your life if you had a little more optimism? What would change if you were willing to shrug your shoulders a little more and say "Let's see" a little more? What would you find?

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