Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way, your mind looks at what happens. -John Homer Miller
I got into my car at 3:30 the other day, looking forward to getting home a bit early. I turned the key, but nothing happened. I tried a few more times, but still nothing. I tried jumper cables, and I tried push-starting the thing, but still, nothing. Years ago, the situation might have stressed me out. I probably would have gotten angry and upset and more than a little stressed out.
The fact was, though, that it was a nice afternoon. And while there were other places I would rather have been, there are nice woods and a stream right next to the parking lot where I was stuck. It was a very nice afternoon, and I had a chance just to relax and enjoy the weather while I waited for the tow truck, which wasn’t going to cost me anything because of my AAA membership. And for whatever reason, I was where I was, and getting upset wouldn’t change that a bit–it would only affect whether or not I enjoyed the time I waited.
Besides, who knows about the grander schemes of life? Perhaps if I had been able to drive off when I wanted to, I might have ended up getting into an accident that I avoided by being where I was. Or maybe if I had arrived home early I would have fallen down the stairs for some reason or another. There are many possible hypothetical situations that I could come up with, but who knows?
My car was dead–it wasn’t the end of the world. It was a nice afternoon, and for whatever reason, I was forced to slow down a little bit and enjoy the day. I had a choice–I could enjoy the time I had, or I could get stressed out about what I was missing by not being somewhere else. When we can look at things that way, the choice becomes pretty easy, doesn’t it?
Questions to ponder:
1. Why do unexpected “disasters” so often affect the way we act and the way we see the world?
2. Is there always just one way of looking at something that happens to us?
3. How can we learn to see things that happen to us in different ways?
For further thought:
How true it is that, if we are cheerful and contented, all nature smiles, the air seems balmier, the sky clearer, the earth has a brighter green. . . the flowers are more fragrant. . . and the sun, moon, and stars all appear more beautiful, and seem to rejoice with us.