Monday, July 11, 2011

Thought/Reminder for Myself for Today

"The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. . . . I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." Charles Swindoll

This is something I needed to remind myself today because I truly, firmly, with all my heart believe it. Adversity comes to us all, there's simply no avoiding it, but we CAN avoid having a negative reaction to it. Negative reactions destroy ourselves and pretty much EVERYONE around us. So, how do I avoid a negative reaction? Quite simply, by humbling myself enough to know that I may know some things, but I DON't know everything. I also need to place my faith and trust in God and trust that he can help me and those around me get through whatever is going on. (Somthing I need to remember. Taking out my frustrations on others/unnecessarlily stirring the pot of contention only brings just that: contention. And resentment. Not a good combination. Oh, and the problem never goes away, either, unless I let it. So, I guess the phrase that would most appropriately apply here is that I need to "let it go".)

To quote a bit from a book called "Adversity", by Elaine Cannon (and taken from a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks):

"An old cowboy said he had learned life's most important lessons from Hereford cows. All his life he had worked cattle ranches where winter storms took a heavy toll among the herds. Freezing rains whipped across the prairies. Howling, bitter winds piled snow into enormous drifts. Temperatures might drop quickly to below zero degrees. Flying ice cut into the flesh. In this malestrom of nature's violence most cattle would turn their backs to the ice blasts and slowly drift downwind, mile upon mile. Finally, intercepted by a boundary fence, they would pile up against the barrier and die by the scores.

But the Herefords acted differently. Cattle of this breed would instinctively head into the windward end of the range. There they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing the storm's blast, heads down against its onslaught.

You always found the Herefords alive and well, said the cowboy, I guess it's the greatest lesson I ever learned on the prairies - just face life's storms."

Similarly, if we face up to our individual adversities or hardships (and I, Christa, would like to add if we face up to our weaknesses and shortcomings and stop blaming others), they can become a source of blessing. God will not give us adversities we cannot handle, and he will bless us richly for patiently doing the best we can in the circumstances. (And I, Christa, again would like to add something: if we stand together instead of trying to drive each other apart, the hardships will only be easier. Again, something I need to remember.)

(Stupid spell check still isn't working for me. I'm sure this post is just full of spelling errors.)

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