Have you ever noticed the way we approach a situation matters? The attitude with which we go about our day to day activities has a tremendous influence on those around us. We can change any encounter with our attitude; for the better or the worse. Having the right perspective goes a long way. A sincere smile can change the entire situation. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
When we step back and take a look at life you start to realize how few things we control. We have no control over the things that happen to us. Think about how many times a race driver has said “I got caught up in someone else’s mess.” When we race we have control of the decisions we make, but there are other drivers out there with us who are making decisions independent of ours. When we think of it, we really don’t have control of what they do. Oh, there are things we can do to cause someone to have a predictable reaction, but is that the way we should race?
I remember a conversation I had with a driver who had just been dumped. He was hot and explaining how he would get back at the other driver; the next time I have the chance I will get him back, I won’t forget this one. I made a suggestion, maybe you could handle it differently, maybe the next time the opportunity arises you just let it go, smile and wave. That would certainly change the situation. The driver smiled and said; “that’s a great idea, he’ll never know when I am going to repay them.”
That is not the reaction I was hoping for, but it is a start. I understand that you can’t let yourself be pushed around on the track, no one wants to be a doormat, but there are better ways of handling things than repaying evil with evil, we talked about that last week. It doesn’t serve to do anything but send things in the wrong direction.
We have control of how we respond to the decisions of the other drivers. Sometimes we respond before we figure out what really happened and make a fool of ourselves. Remember the old adage, “Put your mind in gear before you put your mouth in motion.” In the heat of the battle we forget to think first and speak later.
Our attitude is determined by giving thought and feelings to the choices we make. We always have the choice to decide how we are going to look at something. The glass can be half full or half empty. Our attitude has influence and will help determine how those around us respond. Our attitude is contagious. Smile, people will wonder what you are up to.
Think about how we react to difficult circumstances and challenges. What is our attitude when things are not going the way we thought or hoped they would? We don’t have to let circumstances dictate a bad attitude. When we are able to see beyond our difficult circumstances and make the effort to look into the lives of those around us our attitude changes.
Everyone understands disappointment or discouragement when things aren’t going well, but when we choose to look for the good in spite of the difficulties people take notice. That is when people wonder what we have that they don’t. James wrote;
James 1:2-4, NLT, Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
These verses set the tone for the right way to deal with difficult circumstances. James says do it with joy. Now how many of us face difficulty and trials with joy? We don’t, we usually lament the fact that things didn’t go our way. We are downcast and complain. We bring others down with us. That certainly has a negative effect on those around us.
Joy is an inner peace, a confidence that God is in control and the situation we are in will benefit us. But our instinct is to see them as bad things, things we don’t deserve. We are disappointed and discouraged and let it show. We need to adjust our attitude.
When we learn how to respond to challenging times we develop the maturity necessary to be complete; not lacking anything. Think back to how you responded when you were younger. We didn’t have the discernment or knowledge we do now. Because of that we responded immaturely.
When we endure through the difficult circumstances of life we grow in maturity, we become a source of strength for those around us. When we mature we can have a positive impact and be an encouragement to those going through similar circumstances. Remember that when we learn how to persevere we are equipped to help others get through the same challenge.
We go through life thinking we have control, but we really don’t. Let’s take a drive. We arrive at the stop sign and there is a car approaching from the other direction. Will they stop or won’t they? You don’t know and you can’t predict it either. Who knows what the driver is thinking or doing. Are they changing the radio station or maybe talking on a cell phone? They could be just daydreaming or thinking of something other than driving or obeying the traffic laws. They may be coming from the doctors and received a life changing diagnosis. They may be dealing with issues you wouldn’t wish on an enemy. What do you choose?
We live our life that way every day, we trust others to make the right choices and we feel somehow we have control. We don’t.
I know of only one person who can control the choice of others if they let him, God, but he leaves the decision to us. We need to set an example by first following God’s direction. As we live life we should have a peace, a joy, in our heart that demonstrates our trust in Him. That will help us develop maturity and perseverance. We will be complete.
This week try this, relax, don’t get excited, smile and let things happen. Let God have control, trust Him and see where He leads us. You will be surprised how much freedom we have when we let God have control of our decisions and schedule.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.