I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
~ Psalm 9:1 - 2
It's been said that "attitude is everything."
I think if there is anything that I truly believe, it is this phrase. While I must admit, there are times when I would truly like to throw my hands up and give up, there is something inside that prompts me to stay positive.
I haven't always been that way. Life is challenging enough, and then to challenge yourself to keep an outlook that not only inspires yourself but encourages others, can be just tiring sometimes. And then when you do encounter days when there just doesn't seem to be anything left to be happy about, well, then those days are just days!
I wish that I could have spent a day with Jesus when he walked among humanity. The people he encountered seemed to just be filled with the need for something else. Everywhere he turned there seemed to be sickness, the need for something else, and then there were just bad things.
Even getting something to eat must have been a chore. After all, every person that he encountered needed something that he had. I'm afraid I would end up asking a month's worth of questions in just a few hours, and I surely would have made a fool of myself staring at those who needed the simple touch of his hand, or for one faithful person, to touch the hem of his robe. How marvelous that would be!
Our encounters with Jesus today have moved beyond dusty roads and hillside villages and synagogues where his words caused crowds to be silent, and religious people to gaze and question. While I believe that the power of Christ remains available to each of us, what of those who believe but yet still struggle?
While I do believe attitude is everything, there are those times when we struggle.
In seminary our class called these "Lions 3 Christians 0" days. You see, when the Christians were fed to the lions, it was seen as entertainment, and the struggle to survive, was as if it were some great display of God's power. It was as if God in all of God's glory was on display for all to see. However, we know with all challenges, some days you simply surrender, or get "eaten up" so to speak by the encounter.
Thus the saying, "Lions 3 Christian 0."
Our ability to remain positive through these times are what makes for our outlook on many things, including our attitude. While the ability to survive a day in the pit of Lions is no small task. The scratches and bites produced by the Lions can definitely wound us, however, these are the scars that remind us of days that we battled, and perhaps didn't win, but we lived to fight another day.
While Paul tries to encourage us to be joyful in all things, the struggle is very real, and our attitude is everything.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, help me to be encouraged and to encourage others today, even when there are real struggles. Unto YOU I give thanks for another day. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.