Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
August 25, 2013
Attitude is the difference between winning and losing
Winners choose the right attitude. No matter what your circumstances you have the freedom to choose the attitude with which you will respond. This is one of the great privileges of life.
When bad and crazy things happen you can remain calm or go berserk. Your attitude makes all the difference in whether you are a winner or a loser. When a storm develops you can seek shelter and enjoy the change of pace or you can curse the sky and assume a hurricane will follow the storm.
One day a pigeon dropped a load on my shirt. I told my wife it must be raining. She died laughing and said, “It is not raining. A pigeon just pooped on you!” I laughed too, wiped the mess off my shirt and told her, “Well, even pigeons have to go the bathroom sometime.”
I could have moaned for an hour that I was probably the only man in Pensacola who got drilled by a pigeon that day. But it would have done no good to cry, “Why me?” That would have made me a loser. I chose to be a winner by not allowing a reckless little pigeon to ruin my day. And pigeon poop does not smell all that bad anyway.
My wife loves Matthew Henry. I mean she loves his commentary on the Bible. Henry was an Englishman and a Presbyterian preacher. He died suddenly at age 52 in 1714 but before his death he had written a marvelous commentary on the entire Bible. His exposition of the scriptures is still remarkably helpful despite its age. A few years ago I bought my wife Henry’s one-volume commentary on the Bible; it weighs about five pounds.
I love the story about the time Henry was accosted by thieves who robbed him of his money. Here is how he reacted: “Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed another.” What a winning attitude!
My friend Paul Duffey, a fellow Methodist preacher who was also a bishop, had a winning attitude. I never heard him complain about adverse circumstances, even the death of his dear wife Louise. I remember hearing Paul say, “Adversity will often color our lives – but we can choose the color!” Paul chose a winning attitude until the Lord called him home at age 91.
Whatever your circumstances just now, resist the temptation to wallow in self-pity and complain about your misfortune. To whine is to choose the wrong color. So choose to be thankful for the blessings you enjoy. The right perspective can make you a winner. + + +