My daughters and I were just discussing today about how attitude makes a big difference in how we handle any situation. People can be going through the exact same thing, and one is grumpy and miserable, while the other is joyful, peaceful and enjoying life. I have seen it so many times with my children when we did something they didn't want to do or thought they would not like. Some were grumpy the whole day, complaining, angry and sullen while others decided if we were going to do it they might as well enjoy it .So they were happy and content and enjoyed the day.
When our son Micah got leukemia and he was in the hospital, there was a funny picture on the wall of a bird and a fish, illustrating how attitude can make a difference in how you go through trials. That poster made an impression on Micah from the very start and he decided he would make the most his hospital stays and his sickness. From that moment on he made an effort to be content and not to complain. He would joke around with the nurses and doctors and laugh and tell funny stories if he was up to it. But no matter how bad a day he was having he rarely complained. I learned a lot from him and sometimes when I am tempted to grumble and complain, I get a picture in my mind of Micah in the hospital smiling,content, peaceful even though he was so sick and had to miss out on so much. What a wonderful testimony he was to me.
Of course children are not the only ones who have bad attitudes. When we grumble and complain about our life's circumstances we will be unhappy. But if we decide to be grateful and content in every situation we can be happy.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Phil 4:11
Here is a beautiful story that illustrates this.
The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.” “That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.” She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.” And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy: 1. Free your heart from hatred. 2. Free your mind from worries. 3. Live simply. 4. Give more. 5. Expect less. ( Disclaimer I did not personally write this beautiful story but was blessed and encouraged by it. Photo by Dina Goldstein )