It's one of those days. The kind where Asher woke up at 4 AM with bipolar disorder. One minute laughing, the next minute screaming. The kind of day where we were scurrying around to get the car loaded with lunch for 40 people that needed to be kept cold and when we finally got everything in order the car wouldn't start. So now we have one car with a busted AC (in Alabama heat no less) and one that won't even start. I also got a call from Children's South this morning with arrangements for Asher's tubes on Monday. So much is going on in our world right now and of course, because that's the kind of God He is, God sent me this message in a newsletter I was uploading to the church website at work this morning.
Your Attitude Makes All the Difference by Rubel Shelly
Many things about your life boil down to the hand you have been dealt. You can’t change the fact that you were born in that place and with certain givens for your appearance, IQ, or physical skills. Education and training can open some doors for you, but they cannot change your past, make you taller and more athletic, or alter the fact that some people are unfair in the way they treat you.
In spite of the fact that all of us know that most of our life circumstances are beyond our control, we are all still tempted to fret and complain about things that cannot be changed. Of course they cause distress. They certainly put us at a disadvantage in certain contexts. They mustn’t be allowed to define and limit us.
The people who do best with life move beyond the temptation to whine and feel sorry for themselves. They face the disappointment and move beyond it. They acknowledge the bad break and look for a way to turn it around. They work from a half-full rather than half-empty glass mindset. These people have a different attitude than the defeatist and whiner. They have found a way to make lemonade from their lemons.
There is a section in John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer that reads . . .
Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin.
Let me use disappointment as material for patience;
Let me use success as material for thankfulness;
Let me use suspense as material for perseverance;
Let me use danger as material for courage;
Let me use reproach as material for long-suffering;
Let me use praise as material for humility;
Let me use pleasures as material for temperance;
Let me use pains as material for endurance.
When a given day begins, countless things are headed your way over which you have no control. It may be bad weather or someone’s bad temper, a deadline that won’t budge or a client equally resistant to change (or may I add a car that won’t start). The one factor you can control through it all is your attitude toward them. Your attitude today will make all the difference in everything that matters.