This week's lesson? Attitude. Attitude! Shouldn't I already have learned that lesson? But the Lord, being a patient teacher, seems to finally be getting my attention. And do you know how you learn the value of attitude? By being in lots of situations that are very unpleasant! And boy oh boy, has this been a great week to learn about bad attitudes.
You know what I learned? This is embarrassing, but here it goes. The thing I learned is that my attitude often looks great (smiles, pats on the hand), sounds great (Sure! No problem!) and stinks (self explanatory.) It tastes bitter on my tongue even though the words sound sweet and it feels forced because it is.
I shared last week my couple of difficult confrontations. You know how it is when two people who truly love the Lord allow themselves to be chastised by one another? Iron sharpens iron and our friendship struck a blow against hell. The other one seemed to be quickly resolved until I realized I had been given the ultimate rejection, deleted from Facebook friends! Then there was the working weekend and the staffing frustrations that always come with. On my way to work Saturday morning was when I had that Aha! moment that simply was that God had never let me down. I knew that already, didn't I?
I think that the Lord had made my heart vulnerable to learning more about my attitude with the unpleasant week prior because I had spent a lot of time in prayer borne of frustration. There could be an entire blog devoted to why I need frustration to push me into deeper prayer. But there I was on Saturday morning getting worried about staffing before I got there and I think I was just worn out with worrying. I realized that attitude isn't really about taking a deep breath, walking into the hospital and putting on a smile. That's often what I do, with people complimenting me on my great attitude. But it's a superficial attitude. It's an attitude of "I hope." That's not the Christian's attitude. Our attitude is, "I know."
The world says, "We will see how this works." The Christian says, "I don't need to see it work, I know God's plan will always reign and I will play my part in whatever that is." A good attitude isn't about tolerating unpleasantness with a smile but the ever-present awareness of God in all. That knowledge generates peace which looks like a great attitude. And it isn't superficial.
I had two arguments, one deletion (lol), bad staffing for two days and let's not forget back to Weight Watchers and my weight right there in black and white! What a week! What a really really really...good week.
It was a week of waking up in the morning with a new understanding; my friend is angry at me but God loves me and he is a restoring God. My FB friend published her opinion of me on FB and then deleted me but God is a reassuring God who silences my accusers. My staffing is inadequate but God is a supplying God who makes ends meet. My weight is up but God is an enabling God who sees me through the blood of his son which makes me beautiful.
I would have chosen no arguments, no work problems and no weight gain if I'd been allowed to write my own script. I'd have chosen quick resolution, last minute fixes and less weight gain if I'd had finish the story.
Instead I got what I got. I got God in the middle of my mess.
On second thought, I don't think I really did get a lesson in having a good attitude. I got a lesson in having the right perspective.
I have told you these things so that you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33