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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Attitude is the Issue

Following are words of a poem written by Daniel Sydney Warner sometime before 1895.

Some murmur when the sky is clear
And wholly bright to view,
If some small speck of dark appear
In their great heaven of blue.
And some with thankful love are filled,
If but one streak of light—
One ray of God’s good mercy guild
The darkness of their night.

Notice, Warner is really saying attitude is the issue. What situation we are in is important, but an even more important question is “How do we look at the situation in which we find ourselves?” Do we look only at the cloud or do we see the silver lining? Are we the type to complain about the one tiny cloud in a beautiful sky of blue? Or, the type to thank God for that one beautiful streak of moonlight shining through on a dark and lonely night?

The question we each need to ask is, What attitude do I have? When the sky is a beautiful blue with few, if any clouds, do I ignore the beauty and look instead at the small and insignificant clouds? What do I look for and expect? Do I notice the good or the not so good? When it rains is it a shower of blessing or do I let it ruin my day?

There are two kinds of people in the world (talk about a clique). But it really is true, as with most cliques! One kind always seems to look on the bright side, see the beauty, or the good, in every situation. Another kind always sees the bad, no matter how much good there is around.

The real questions is which kind of person do you want to be? What kind of person I am now is not as important as what I want to become. If I tell my brain what I want to be, this marvelous part of the human anatomy will work hard to help me become that. But we do have to tell our brains what we want. Our brains don’t make decisions for us. They merely obey what we tell them and work hard to help us achieve what we want. If I try to eat less in order to lose weight, but I continue to tell my brain, I am a fat person. My brain may help me continue to be what I tell it I am. Rather than cooperate with the diet, it will try to sabotage it.

That’s why attitude matters so much. Our attitudes communicate to our brains at a feeling level what is important to us and basically tells our brains what to work on. But the brain doesn’t just work on it, that marvelous brain of ours gets all of the other organs of our bodies working together to accomplish what it believes is important to us. If our attitudes say one thing, but our words say another, the brain trusts the attitude unless you tell your brain “My attitude stinks and I want to change it.”

Another thing that helps in this process of change is prayer. With prayer we can ask God’s help in the change process. However, God won’t always help. He only helps when the thing we desire is good for us. He is not like a brain to be bossed around. He is God. He loves us and wants what is best for us. It is better if we first ask God what is best for us and then seek his help to accomplish it.

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . . and that's My View from Tanner Creek.

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