I love people who have a good attitude about nearly everything. Whether they are going through wonderful times or dealing with annoying situations (such as car trouble or the phone company getting the bill all wrong) or going through times of heartache, they just seem able to take to heart Paul's instruction to give thanks in everything. I get the impression Paul just had a high view of God and to him our earthly problems paled in comparison.
I suppose this quote goes along with that:
"A low view of God is the cause of a hundred lesser evils. A high view of God is the solution to ten thousand temporal problems." -- A.W. Tozer
If only I could remember these problems are temporary. But don't they seem overwhelming when we are going through them? Don't they just gnaw at our souls and make us feel uneasy?
Recently I read Primal and author Mark Batterson told of this positive outlook on life. I really liked it and wanted to make it my own. Attitude greatly influences how we go through life, doesn't it? We choose to allow hard times to make us bitter or unthankful or blue. But can't we also choose a grateful attitude? One that guards against resentment, bitterness and even crippling sadness?
Hey, you don't have to tell me that that's not so easy. I am an emotional person. Quite melancholic, in fact. So I recognize the struggle with choosing the thankful, joyful outlook in life. I don't get a flat tire on the car and start shouting hallelujah. My family can attest to how irritated, bitter and sad I can get. But why choose to live this way when I don't have to?
I liked this.
If you approach every person, every challenge, every situation with humble curiosity, it transforms each of them into a learning opportunity. The outcome is no longer seen as success or failure, good or bad, positive or negative. The only measuring stick is this: what did you learn from it? ... I'm less afraid of failing, because I know it's the best form of education. I'm less focused on getting out of situations and more focused on what I can get out of those situations. I'm less concerned with what I'm experiencing and more concerned with what I'm learning. Everyone and everything becomes part of my education. God redeems them and uses them to shape me into the person He wants me to become. And the learning process never ends. (pg. 107)
Mark also wrote this which reminded me of some of you, my lovely questioning-and-learning friends. :)
"The New Testament Greek word translated as 'disciple' comes from a root that means 'learner.' By definition, a disciple is someone who never stops learning. A true disciple makes the most of the hundred billion brain cells God has put on loan to him. A true disciple loves more because she knows more. A true disciple is consumed with holy curiosity that doesn't take yes for an answer. The disciple keeps asking and seeking and knocking. And the quest is never over because the questions never end." (pg. 107)
What are you currently questioning, seeking to learn, learning? What things do you question most? What subjects do you enjoy learning about the most? Do you tend to have a "what can I learn from this?" attitude when facing hard times? How important is attitude in facing challenges in life? Do you agree that a high view of God should help us during hard times? Do you let it or do you tend to forget how big He is because your problems loom large? Do you agree with Tozer about a low view of God causing hundreds of lesser evils?
And in case you've not noticed, I do, in fact, enjoy learning from you. And asking questions is often how I do that. :-)