The first sits quietly. Listens to the silence, the hum of the heater. Good to get those pains checked out – probably nothing, but best to be sure. A queue of course – but we’re in the same boat, and anyway, it’s nothing urgent. What’s an extra fifteen minutes? It’s warm; and there are magazines. A chance to stop and draw breath in the busyness of the day.
The second flicks through the magazines, then slaps them on the floor. Out of date and so tattered. She stands up, sits down. Looks at the others. What’s wrong with them? – they don’t look sick. A sigh. What a waste of time. Some have nothing better to do but I’m busy. And sick too. Something terrible – viruses, coursing through her veins. Probably on the way out. Bloody NHS: always the same. What if they can’t help? I’ll never get better. I’ll be stuck here forever.
Two people. Same situation.
One despairing, the other, filled with hope.
Two ways of thinking:
a beloved child of the living God. Secure and at peace – even in conflict.
Or – an orphan. Alone in the world. Self-reliant, defensive. Always on alert.
Am I confusing a thought with a fact?
How would I look at this from someone elses’ point of view?
What is the real world evidence?
What are the advantages of thinking this way? What are the disadvantages of thinking this way?
What difference will this make in a week, a year or ten years?
Can God be trusted in this moment?