Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mind Over Matter

You find yourself in a set of circumstances you wish were different: the choices are (A) to be disappointed and bitter, or (B) to grin and bear it. Most seem to choose (A), but (B) is certainly the choice of character.

I played football for Lubbock Christian School from the 7th grade through the 12th grade. Early into that first season, I was pegged as a lineman . . . much to my chagrin. I wanted to be a running back. But, the coaches assigned me to the offensive and defensive lines, and that is where I played six seasons. I had some success as a lineman (in between some awful performances), but all the time I longed to be a running back. I wasn't all that bitter, but I did allow the circumstance of not being in the position I wanted to inhibit the effort I gave the position I was assigned. In other words, I was half-hearted in my play as a lineman, and was a rather mediocre player because of it. To this day, I wonder how good I could have been had I played with more enthusiasm.

How much productivity is lost because we are moping around over some disappointment or perceived slight? How many good experiences are forfeited because we are pouting over something that did not go our way? How much potential goes unrealized because are wishing to be somewhere else or doing something different?

Grin and bear it. Not a faint smile, but a genuine optimism that carries us through all situations and accompanying us through moments good and bad. It is the attitude of Paul when he wrote in Philippians 4.12-13: "I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content--whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all thing through Him who strengthens me."

Let us begin each day with a smile on our face and keep that smile until the day draws to a close. Let us remember that each day is a blessing, filled with opportunity. Let us face each challenge and engage in every task with enthusiasm . . . with the attitude, "I will do my best, give my best, be the best I can be."