Hello everyone, I’m with you again this evening with my December 2019 post. As we enter the season of Advent I want take a moment and thank you all for your support in opening your hearts to my monthly “Food for Thought” entries.
As I have reflected upon my Food for Thought post for this December, today’s topic will be about “Attitude”.
Winston Churchill once said, “attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”. What’s your attitude, today, at this instance – toward your spouse? Your kids? Your supervisor? Your employees? Toward life in general? Are you feeling… like a victim or a victor? Ungrateful or appreciative? Angry of Joyful? Betrayed of beloved? Critical or congratulatory? Resentful or content? Pessimistic or hopeful?
What am I trying to say here? Gary Chapman tells us that we are being guided towards self awareness. We may have a general sense of our attitudes we are carrying, but through our daily busyness we may all need to stop and reflect upon our current state of mind. He calls this an “attitude check”.
As we become aware of our attitude, it sets a tone on how we perceive others and how others perceive us. The scary truth is, we are often unaware of the vibes we send out. If we identify that we are constantly negative, then perhaps its time to own our negative vibes we are sending out and make an attitude adjustment. Do you enjoy being around critical, judgemental, pessimistic people? Most people don’t. On the flip side, if we exude a positive, hopeful, energetic, joyful and appreciative attitude, we will most likely feel others drawn to us. So let’s try taking a moment each day and check our attitudes.
On a practical level, a 17th century monk named Brother Lawrence was a humble cook in a French monastery. He authored a book called “Practicing the Presence of God”. In it, he explained how he was able to turn common menial tasks, ex: preparing meals and washing dishes into acts of praise and communion with God. The key, he wrote, was not to change what we do but to change our attitude toward what we do.
When doing day to day menial tasks, realize we are doing them for God. We can use it as an opportunity to worship Him through acts of service. That’s a different perspective. When we do, we will discover pleasure even in taking out the trash.
Let’s not let the enemy deceive us into thinking that we must get away from our daily routine in order to try to enjoy life. Don’t wait until your next vacation, enjoy others and your daily routines as a gift from God. Let’s enjoy getting up, eating breakfast, going to work, mowing the lawn, getting groceries, washing dishes. We have to do them anyways – why not choose to enjoy them.
More importantly, we can also offer up our daily chores and our daily struggles in prayer as a sacrifice for a person we know who is experiencing hardship. This gives an added boost of meaning and purpose in helping another with our daily activities and struggles.
Attitude is everything. Let me leave you with this perspective from Saint Therese of Lisieux. The “Little Flower”, she was a Carmelite nun who died at the age of 24 years. Her spirituality was in doing the ordinary with extraordinary love. She said, “what matters in life is not great deeds, but great love”. People learned to imitate her “little way”. She had an amazing strength and attitude. Her simplicity was a model to ordinary souls like you and I. Humble, unnoticed, ordinary, she preferred the monotony of hidden sacrifices.
Perhaps some food for thought as we ponder her amazing attitude on living a simple life with great love. This Advent, let’s challenge ourselves to a weekly or daily “attitude check” and make the positive adjustments we each need to enjoy the abundant, overflowing gratefulness for the lives God has given each of us. Some of this advice is from Gary Chapman. Have a safe, healthy and blessed Advent and Christmas everyone. Love MJ xoxo