Saturday, March 18, 2006

Take the "Ten Positive Things About This Jerk" (TPTATJ) challenge!

Know a jerk? Great! Then you're ready to take the TPTATJ[tm] challenge!

Here's how it works:

1.) Visualize the jerk. (This is the easiest part.)
2.) Remember — and believe! — that this jerk is a child of God. (This is a tad harder, but you can do it!)
3.) Write down 10 positive things about this jerk. (Obviously, this the hardest part.)

(Here's a hint: stop thinking of this person as a "jerk." It'll only hinder you.)

Ready? Let's get started!

Once you've got the jerk — scratch that, make it "child of God" — in your mind, grab a pen and a sheet of paper.

Ask God for help, and not incidentally, to bless the...child.

Now think!

Surely there must be something positive about this person. Start with the easy stuff.

For example, so far I've written:

1.) He is always punctual.
2.) His shoes are always shined.
3.) One time I saw him help an old lady down a flight of stairs.

See how it works?

The first two "positive things," I know, are rather lame. The third gets a bit closer to "goodness." Which led to:

4.) He shows respect for the Blessed Sacrament. (It's true! I realized, during this exercise, that the one I'm thinking about never passes a tabernacle without genuflecting. Better and better!)

The purpose of this challenge (okay, I didn't make it up...a priest suggested it to me today after finding me in a rather surly mood) is pretty obvious, probably, but I'll tell you anyway.

It's to help rid my heart and your heart from the poison of resentment, anger, ill-will, and all that nasty stuff.

It's to cleanse ourselves of indignation and replace it with appreciation.

So take the challenge!

And my guess is that you'll surpass me. After all, I've only got four "positive things" written down. But with a bit of prayer and a humble heart, I'm thinking I might exceed the ten required!