Attitude and perspective. As I sit through training here in San Antonio, Texas, these two words keep popping up in my mind.
One of the posters in our classroom reads: “The Power of Attitude: Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.” It is illustrated with bright orange lightning strikes.
During the lunch hour, I’m currently reading “Lean In” by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. I’m not quite halfway through (at the moment) and I’m already blown away by her vision for women. And by that, I mean highly motivated and encouraged.
One of the highlights for me was how to maintain a certain perspective when effectively communicating with others: It “starts with understanding that there is my point of view (my truth) and someone else’s point of view (his truth). … When we recognize we can see things only from our own perspective, we can share our views in a nonthreatening way. Statements of opinion are always more constructive in the first person ‘I’ form. Compare these two statements: ‘You never take my suggestions seriously’ and ‘I feel frustrated that you have not responded to my last four emails, which leads me to believe that my suggestions are not important to you. Is that so?’ … One triggers a disagreement; the other sparks a discussion.”
So where do you stand when it comes to attitude and perspective?
Winston Churchill is attributed with saying, “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” (OK, that’s a bit crude but you get the gist of what I’m saying, right?)
Are you a half-full glass person or half-empty glass person? Do you freak out, throw a fit or go into hiding when something out of your control happens, or do you determine to make lemonade out of lemons and press forward?
Navigating this thing called life is a matter of attitude and perspective. As I’m learning more about the marketing world according to Air Force instruction, I realize I can either get mad about how off-course my office is, or I can decide to correct what is within my ability to do so and consider the past as merely a detour.
As a Christian, I can recognize that God is in control and He has a purpose for my life. Nothing happens outside of His scope.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Everything happens for a reason. God is pretty clear in His word that He orchestrates everything for my good and He has a plan for me. (Review Hebrews 11:1, Romans 8:28.)
My friends kid with me that they wish God would give them a blueprint of His plans for them. I agree!
But kidding aside, isn’t that what faith is? We believe without seeing what the road ahead holds and know that God’s got us in His hand with an intent to prosper, not harm us, to give us hope and a future? (See Jeremiah 29:11.)
I realize having a positive attitude and God’s perspective isn’t easy. It can be especially rough when you feel the whole world is bearing down on you, things are falling apart or you’ve been cornered between a rock and a hard place.
One of my closest friends is in the latter right now. She knows the Lord has called her to serve where she is, but she is dealing with staying true to herself while still adhering to workplace standards. She has been deeply wounded by others on staff who called her out for sticking to her moral code — persecuted, if you will — in what I would call a bout of reverse discrimination.
I shared with her the above “sermon” I’ve shared with you. We do not live in a perfect world and sometimes there are no pat answers how to cope with our everyday struggles.
However, I know this: Our God is bigger than anything or anyone who comes our way. He will keep you steadfast and never give you more than you can handle, for the simple fact He already knows the outcome!
I never tire of clinging to and relying on the verse the Lord gave me as a young teen, because it repeatedly has sparked my hope and encouragement: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." — Joshua 1:9
Contact Ruth Ann Replogle at www.facebook.com/JustHoldOnRR or firstname.lastname@example.org