I woke up this morning to frustration in the bathroom due to laundry and a continual request that isn’t fulfilled.
I quickly changed my attitude about those things.
When I quit working for the company I was employed by back in 2006 I could have done the same thing, and we might be in a drastically different place. Hindsight is 20/20 as you very well know. I write that to underscore a point. Attitude is vitally important. I’m going to write that again in bold italics. Attitude is vitally important. What happens to me is of little consequence as to how I choose to respond. I know that sounds like a self help mantra that we yawn at in a Hallmark store, but it is vital for a healing path.
May the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight oh LORD, my rock and my redeemer. -The Bible
God is at work powerfully in the lives of all those who choose to believe in Him. When we don’t allow the things of this world to distract us from a relationship with Him we have a deeper longing and focus to choose our attitudes. Put that on a Hallmark card.
Sadly, Satan is alive and well, and the things that pull us away from our Father are plentiful. This time of year can be even worse because we are forced to deal with toxic people in our lives, and Satan loves nothing more than to remind us of our inadequacy as we put one foot in front of the other. We get to pretend everything is ok when it’s not, but then I guess we do that all year long as we smile when we’d rather frown. We lie once again to those who ask us how we’re doing, and we grin and bear it through places we don’t want to be.
Choosing a good attitude is hard.
It’s not impossible.
No matter our age we have the resources to change our bad attitudes at the drop of a hat, and if it helps you, like it does me, write about it. You don’t even have to publish it because if it’s only your eyes that see the words in a journal at Starbucks that’s all you need to do.
I’ve not read the Hebrew Bible book of Lamentations that much, but I do know there are plenty of Psalms and other Hebrew Bible passages that talk about suffering. It’s vital to lament our pain and suffering if we are the only ones who read it. I frequently go back in my blog and journals to see where I’ve come from. It’s powerful, and it makes me think about the way Mel Gibson framed Mary’s memory in the Passion of the Christ. The first time I saw that on the big screen I was deeply moved by her reminiscent thought process.
Gilmore Girls does a great job painting a picture of lament for Lorelai. If you’ve never watched Gilmore Girls you’re missing out on a Friends caliber piece of culture that will not disappointment. Apart from the laissez-faire attitude about sex, and it’s making fun of fundamental Christian beliefs it’s an amazing piece of culture that has driven me to the arms of my Savior. Nothing and no one will replace the neccesity of your desire for a God who transcends all suffering. God shows up in Gilmore Girls. If it’s good it’s God. I’m not for one minute trying to tell you that good Christians don’t watch rated R movies.
There’s so much out there to help us choose the attitudes my Father wants us to have. It’s bigger than the mantra that says love is greater than hate. That’s such a simplistic “answer” to a human condition that has been around for thousands of years. Visit any 12-step program and you’ll bawl your eyes out at the hurt and pain people go through every day. To tell them they can choose their attitude or that love is greater than hate is to put a bandaid on a deep sutured wound.
We walk with those people, and when we are one of those people we put one foot in front of the other in deep love for ourselves, not because we are “worthy,” but because He is and only He is able to deliver us.
I, for one, look to the wrong things to deliver me. I don’t examine my heart sufficiently enough to see that the things I look for to change my bad attitudes make it worse. Money, power, sex, my wife’s approval, my daughter’s approval, my parents approval are bandaids. None of that matters. God matters, and it’s God through those things that be the difference between a good and bad attitude.
I’m not here to tell you what you need to do to own a good attitude. I’m not God. I never have been. I never will be. If God needs to take a coffee break on Judgement Day I’m not going to volunteer to get up on the throne. Can you imagine that burden? Hell no!
There are things I have done that have changed my bad attitudes into good ones, and I think there are fundamental things we can do to foster a better life for ourselves. What those are for you where you are doing what you do day in and day out I don’t know. I do know that your past does not have to determine your future.
You can overcome. But you can’t do it without my Father. Seek Him out. He wants to be found. But He has never forced Himself on anyone.
I suggest you start with a church or 12-step program that believes in Jesus.