Yesterday, a friend at church gave me a copy of the following story about attitude.
“There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.
‘Well,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll braid my hair today.’
So she did and she had a wonderful day.”
“The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.
‘H-m-m,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.’
So she did and she had a grand day.”
“The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head.
‘Well,’ she said, ‘today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.’
So she did, and she had a fun, fun day.”
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head.
‘Yea!’ she exclaimed. ‘I don’t have to fix my hair today!” …author unknown
Attitude is everything! The Apostle Paul also made that discovery. He faced a tremendous amount of adversity and persecution in his life. You can read about some of the things that happened to him in II Corinthians chapter 11:23-28: “…in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been in frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches.” Wow, what a list! Yet note what he wrote to the believers at Philippi: “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am…I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:11-13).
During World War II, Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was imprisoned at Auschwitz, where he was stripped of his identity as a medical doctor and forced to work as a common laborer. His father, mother, brother, and wife died in the concentration camps. All his notes, which represented his life’s work, were destroyed. Yet Frankl emerged from Auschwitz believing that “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any set of circumstances.” We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we can choose our attitude toward them. Whatever our circumstances may be, we can draw on the power of Christ for the strength to face them. We always have a choice–and that choice will always make a difference. The Apostle Paul’s challenge to us is to “Rejoice in the Lord always!” (Phil. 4:4) and to “Exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance proven character; and proven character, hope” (Ro. 5:3,4).
Charles Swindoll wrote the following about attitude:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 % what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping. What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!
Have a GREAT DAY…unless, of course, you have other plans!