Saturday, August 2, 2008

Attitude Can Really Make the Difference

It's late and I've had a long day today, but before I turn in I wanted to say a little something about attitude. If I don't do it know I may forget. (I've done it a few times now. I say I am going to blog about something only to forget what it was I was going to blog about).

Today I was thinking about attitude and just how much of a difference it really makes. I know a lot about this subject because I had a mom who was very good about having a good attitude. So much so that I want to share it with you.

First off, my dad is a very hard working man. He is one of the hardest working men I know. So as I write this I don't want anyone to get the impression that my dad was some kind of bum because he wasn't. In fact, what I am going to tell you is something I didn't know until a few years ago when my mother came out and told me, but before I even go there I want to relay a story to you of something that happened recently to me just a few weeks ago.

As some of you may know, Dan and Christina got married a few weeks ago. I was honored to have been asked to preside over the wedding which took place up in the Hualapai mountains. After the ceremony a woman popped out of the crowd and began to talk to me about her situation. It seems she had seen the church van come up the mountain and so she found me out hoping that the church could give her some help.

She was from somewhere back East (or maybe it was the Midwest) and she told me this long story that eventually concluded with her and her family losing pretty much everything they owned and ending up at a campsite there in Hualapai Mountains. She kept saying how she couldn't understand why God had allowed her family to be in the predicament they were in. During this, I'm sorry to say, pity party, she told me how hard it was for her to hear her kids ask why they had to live in a tent and cry themselves to sleep every night. Then she told me that she just wanted to die. It's a sad story, but I couldn't help but think about how her attitude was affecting her husband and her kids.

Let me now go back to when I was a kid. I didn't find this out, like I said, until a few years ago. I would have never guessed that I grew up in a poor family. Never in my wildess dreams would I have guessed that my childhood was filled with poverty. Like I said before, my dad is a very hard working man who has a great job now that makes decent money, but back when I was a kid his line of work didn't pay as well as he would have hoped, but I never knew that. I thought I was like every other kid I met.

The reason being, my mother was/is the queen of making the most of every moment. My mom made everything fun. She never let on that we were in a bad position. She saw the good in everything. Even when we were living in poverty I never had a clue that we were hurting. Yeah, I can look back now and say "Oh, I remember getting government food. Oh I remember collecting cans for cash. Oh I remember..." but during those years I would have never guessed that we were hurting financially.

Let me skip forward again to that meeting in the Hualapais. As this woman described how her children were feeling I couldn't help but think "If you only knew how important your attitude is to them." Some of you may be thinking "You never had to live in a tent!", and to that I would respond "Oh, yes I have!!" There was a point in my childhood where my family did live in a tent for a short period of time at a KOA campground, and you know what? I never regreted it, in fact I have fond memories of living at the campground, and it was once again due to my mother's attitude. When she found out that we had to live at a campground she made it seem like it was going to be the biggest adventure in the world and to this little boy it was!

Why am I writing all this? As parents we don't realize how much our attitude affects our children, or as a person, the people around us. If we have a negative attitude our children will catch on and they will have a negative attitude themselves. If we have a positive attitude they will catch on and they will have a positive attitude. Attitude can really make or break a person, and it's not just the self but those around as well.

In some ways I think I have a great attitude about life, but in other ways I am very negative. I tend to be the most negative within my family and the most positive outside. The truth is, my family needs to see my positive attitude more then anyone else. My wife has been helping me to see that when God calls us to do something concerning others, such as loving one another, it really starts in the home. If it isn't taking place in the home then we are just hypocrites: actors to those on the outside.

I want to have an attitude like my mom's. She has been such a great example, one that I don't follow as well as I woud like. Her motto really is "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade!"

It would be a mistake not to point out that when it comes to work I need to have the same attitude my father has. I don't remember him complaining about work that much, and I think that was because he understood how important it was to have a good attitude on the job because it ultimately affected the family in some way or another.

Both of my parents have been wonderful examples of what it is to have a good attitude in the home and at work. So if you guys are reading this blog I just want to say thank you for setting the example you did/do. I love you both very much.

For all you others I just want to encourage you to have great attitudes concerning life. In fact, everything that I have said about great attitudes is really nothing other than joy, and joy is supposed to be one of the many things that set the Christian apart from the world. Joy is seeing the positive in everything. Joy is a powerful and infectious quality that every Christian needs to long for and develop in their life. The world needs to be given something they seldom see. They need to be given a good attitude, and when they recieve a good attitude it will help them to see beyond their plight. They will be given the opportunity to see something much better because it is through your joy that they will see Jesus.

Attitude can literally be everthing. So as a follow of Christ, have a good attitude and make a difference!

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I really enjoyed your blog about attitude and I do believe that attitude is everything. Thanks for talking about it, and I like you, need to show more positive attitude within the home. I love your openness thanks.