Posted by: Mike Willoughby | October 19, 2010

Having an Eeyore Day?

My two favorite characters from Winnie the Pooh are Tigger and Eeyore.  Tigger is the bouncy, charismatic over-the-top optimistic tiger while Eeyore is the glum, passive under-a-dark-cloud pessimistic donkey.  Interestingly enough, they are frequently paired up in their adventures so we can witness the dichotomy of Tigger’s can-do optimism and Eeyore’s why-even-try pessimism.  Sometimes Tigger way over-commits and gets himself in trouble while Eeyore misses out on the fun because of his gloomy outlook.  Together, they strike a balance that seems to work for both.  I like the pairing because I see myself in both characters.

I’ll leave the dangers of over-promising and under-delivering in Tigger fashion for another day.  Today the Eeyore is the focus of Intersections.  I think we are too hard on poor Eeyore!  My observations of Eeyore are that sometimes he just acknowledges the tough challenges that come along with a donkey’s life.  After all, it’s a real challenge living in a leaky house made with sticks and having a tail that frequently falls off.  I must cut Eeyore some slack when he comments on the rain dripping on his head through the leaky roof.  Even the apostle Paul acknowledged the tough times he had to endure as an apostle.  Take a look at this passage from II Corinthians 11:24-28:

Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.  And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.

 There are many other passages where Paul speaks of the tough times that he endured and the disappointments he suffered.  In the above passage, I think Paul sounds a bit Eeyore-ish.  Who could blame him with all the calamities happening to him?  However, this is also the same apostle that wrote this encouragement to us in Philippians 2:14-15:

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…

Paul writes this in the context of encouraging the Philippian Christians to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”  Within this context of living out a life of faith, Paul is reminding us that we are being watched by those around us and they are judging the authenticity of our faith.  If I display a faith that is tainted by grumbling, complaining and questioning, I am calling into question the power of God to work in me both to will and to work.  When it comes to working in the kingdom I need to be a Tigger and not an Eeyore.  I need to allow the power of the Spirit to help me work with a smile of joy on my face ‘cause that’s what Tiggers do best!

I also noted that Paul seems to save his own Eeyore moments such as that mentioned in II Corinthians and the disappointments itemized in II Timothy 4 for church family.  Paul tells us in Galatians 6:2 that we are to bear one another’s burdens.  Sometimes I just can’t bounce through some events in Tigger fashion.  When those Eeyore times descend on me, I am grateful that I have strong brothers and sisters to help me bear those burdens and help me return to my natural Tigger state.  I also take comfort in knowing that when I let a little Eeyore slip out to the public and call into question the hope that I have within me, my father is quick to forgive me and restore me to a joyful state.

Tigger or Eeyore – which one are you?  Probably, if you are like me, you are some of each.  I think that’s OK!

Until next week,

Meet me at the intersection!

Previous Intersections Articles
 
Work-Life Balance? (Part 2) Work-Life Balance? (Part 1) My Friend Mulligan

Responses

  1. I’m Eeyore this morning, but plan to be a Tigger starting now. Thanks

  2. Just what I needed but oh so hard to accomplish. Really having an Eeyore day today. working through it thanks MIke

  3. Most of the time I am a tigger but sometimes I am Eeyore. I have noticed that some people who are not quite all there seem to be happy; maybe that’s my case. Some times I get in trouble because I try to make a joke of something and it backfires. But I have more fun now days than when I was younger.


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