From a pastor's perspective, you know it is going to be a bad day when:
. . . You finally remember the name of that person you promised to visit in the hospital - while reading the obituaries.
. . . You can't find Obadiah while leading a Bible study.
. . . In the pulpit you notice your sermon notes this week are from last week's sermon.
. . . The youth pastor urgently asks you about the church's liability insurance.
. . . The couple you married a year ago calls to ask about a warranty.
. . . You are elected Pastor Emeritus - and you're only twenty-eight.
We all have our set of difficulties that make for bad days. These difficulties usually come in times when the circumstances give little room for added frustration. But they come!! While they are unique to us, they are certainly not uncommon. We live in a world where it "rains on the just as well as the unjust." In fact, God's Word guarantees the believer a certain degree of trials . . . and frustration.
However, when those troubles come, it is not so much what happens to us, but how we react to them that is most important. Troubles "break" some people, while "making" others. The difference is attitude.
A study by Harvard University revealed that 85% of the reasons for success, accomplishments, promotions, etc. were because of our attitudes and only 15% because of our expertise. Zig Ziglar voiced it well when he said, "Attitude is much more important than aptitude."
This is no less true for the believer. I can look at life's trials as unfair and as an uninvited guest, or as growth opportunities in disguise. I can see roadblocks as an excuse to be negative and pessimistic or I can see them as an opportunity to trust God for the insurmountable. My attitude will determine my perspective.
However, for the believer, provision has been made to look at life from only one set of lenses - that of confident optimism. Why?? Because God's Word assures us that our Heavenly Father is in control and is always working things out according to His good and merciful plan for our life - and ultimately to make us into His image. That is why we can give thanks in the trials, frustrations, failures . . . and yes, even mistakes of our lives.
One man put it so well:
"As values are unveiled, tested, and fine-tuned by truth lived and taught - attitudes change. Beauty surfaces as these renewed attitudes produce Christ-like actions."
By the way . . . How's "your" attitude today?