Saturday, October 13, 2012

Attitude: It's a Choice

Change: It’s inevitable. It’s unavoidable. It’s constant. It’s relentless.

Growth: It’s possible. It’s productive. It’s beneficial. It’s necessary.

Attitude: It’s a choice.

A few years ago, I would have said that the one thing I avoided most in life was change. I had my routines like everyone does, and I had plans for the future.

Then, as New Year’s Eve 2008 approached, my dad challenged me to establish a motto for the year. A one-word theme. His suggestion: be flexible. This word is a spot-on characterization of my parents. In their lives, flexibility appears in such things as an awareness of opportunities to serve others and a willingness to set aside their plans. They see a need, make a plan, and take the initiative to act. Countless times, they set aside what they’re doing to listen, support, encourage, and commit acts of service. As the years have gone by, I’ve realized what a blessing their flexibility is, how rare it is in today’s society, and how fortunate I am to see it modeled firsthand.

As I considered this one-word theme for the year, I realized it could very well transform my outlook on life, if I allowed it to. Somewhat cautiously, I made the commitment.

During that year, God gradually softened my heart and clearly showed me that His ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). My response to changes in my plans was up to me. Would I have a positive attitude about it, trusting God with the outcome? Or would I stomp my feet and complain?

Through a number of circumstances since that time, God has continued to remind me that, while it is good to make plans, He determines my steps (Proverbs 16:9). This is a beautiful truth that relieves the pressure I tend to put on myself to always be prepared. Believe me, this is an ongoing process of submitting my will to God’s will. I’m constantly identifying areas of struggle and trying to learn from them.

He determines my steps.

So in a world of continuous change, what can we rely on? We can always count on this: God never changes (James 1:17).

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