I’m sure you know people who always seem to be upbeat all the time. They seem to enjoy life to its fullest. Their circumstances are far from ideal, but they choose to be happy anyway. The older I get, the more I’m learning to be content and even happy with even the small things of life. When I wake up each morning, I look forward to the glorious opportunity to fellowship with my Heavenly Father over a steaming cup of coffee before getting ready for work. I used to think, “Oh no, only twenty minutes before I have to get ready!” Now I just savor every moment as I prepare for my day. I used to dread having to mow my rather sizable lawn. But now I actually enjoy the time on my lawn tractor, usually in the cool of the evening. It is an excellent opportunity to pray. Do you get the point? I didn’t change my activities, just my attitude. And it made all the difference in the world.
I read an illustration about some mischievous young boys who decided to smear stinky Limburger cheese in their grandfather’s mustache while he was sleeping. As he awakened he said, “Something in here stinks.” So he went into another room and soon repeated, “Something in here stinks, too.” Then he went out onto the front porch, sniffed and proclaimed, “The whole world stinks!” Sometimes when we think the whole world stinks, it’s just the stinking attitude that we are carrying along with us. In the same way, a good attitude can be like a lovely fragrance that lingers in the air even after we have passed through.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not something you decide one time and your attitude is forever changed. It is a choice you make each new day and maybe even several times a day. Sometimes you have to do it with dogged determination. Sometimes it comes naturally. Where do you think the saying came from…“Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” In other words, sometimes we just wake up needing an attitude adjustment! How do you think I know these things? Because I deal with them everyday, just like you. Our attitude is the ONE THING that we have absolute control over.
Rather than a pity party, wouldn’t you rather life be a continual feast? I know you’ve heard it said, “Your attitude determines you altitude.” If you want to be high on life, give yourself an attitude adjustment!
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. II Corinthians 2:14 NIV
He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. Daniel 2:21
My times are in your hands. Psalm 31:15a
As I was driving in to work one morning, I passed a local fruit and vegetable stand. The man who runs it was putting out his wares for the day. He had tables full of melons, tomatoes, peaches and all kinds of vegetables. I thought to myself, “How in the world does he make enough to keep this place going? Obviously he can’t make over two to three dollars profit on each basket or item sold.” Then it was as if the Lord said to me, “He has to look at the big picture. He can’t look at each sale of the day or even the sales for the week. He has to count the profit at the end of the month or maybe the end of the season. And in the meantime, he has to faithfully attend to his produce, culling out any items that may have gotten overripe or gone bad overnight. He has to cover them or take them in at night and bring them back out in the morning. He has to sit there all day expectantly, whether he has a customer or not. And he has to do this one day at a time, one week at a time until the season is over.”
Does the job seem mundane? I’m sure it does. Does it seem unprofitable at times? Absolutely! Does it all seem an act of futility in the big scheme of life? No doubt! Then why is this fruit stand even necessary? Well, first of all, it provides a means of livelihood for both the owner and the worker. It provides a service to people to enrich their life. It provides a sense of accomplishment as daily duties are performed and people are served. And lastly, it is where these people are destined to be at this particular time in life whether by choice or by happenstance.
Does this all sound too familiar to you? It does to me! There are times when I ask myself each of those questions and in the moments that follow, I have a choice to make. Do I trust my Heavenly Father enough to believe that at this moment in time I am right where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing…and if not, that He will show me differently? Am I too busy complaining to count the blessings of the moment? Am I looking at a single day’s accomplishment instead of looking at the big picture? Am I looking at this present session instead of looking at the whole season of my life?
“Lord, help me to see ‘my times’ through Your eyes and adjust my attitude accordingly.”