A small boy featured on Funniest Home Videos put on his back pack and ran away from home. His problem came when he got to the street in front of his house. The young boy stopped, turned, and yelled at his mother, “How can I run away from home when I can’t even cross the street by myself?”
After seeing that boy on FHV, I was reminded of Katie, a five-year-old, and Anders, her three-year-old brother. Katie was fed up with having to pick up her toys and having to be quiet while her older sister was homeschooled. One Sunday after church, Katie told me she and Anders were going to run away from home.
Katie and Anders lived in a housing development next to the Interstate, and when I heard about Katie’s plans, I was frightened. Katie was a very determined little girl, and I could see the two children actually going out on the highway, never to be seen again. I told Katie that if she ever really planned to run away, she should call me first. I told her I would come and get her so she would be safe.
Katie must have taken me seriously and conveyed our conversation to Anders. The next week in church Anders misbehaved and his mother firmly gripped the three-year-old in her arms to carry him out of the sanctuary to scold him. Anders saw me across the room and yelled, “Julia, what’s your phone number?”
I’ve felt like running away a number of times in the past few weeks. Life gets hard and I would love to grab my husband and run off to some exotic island that no one else knows about. There would be no telephones, no one to bug me, no complaints, no problems to solve, no frustrating people. It would be a place where I am healthy and can breathe easily. But since that isn’t possible, I had to look at my life and figure out what to do about the pressure I was feeling. I realized that I had a bad attitude and it colored everything that affected me, making all the problems and frustrations even worse.
I came across a quote from Charles Swindoll: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, then successes, than what other people think or say or do. It’s more important than appearances, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church or a home. 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 ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it. We are in charge of our attitudes.”
The problem with running away is that I would take myself, and if I didn’t change my attitudes, the beautiful island would have the same challenges as my life here does. I guess I’ll stay home and try to develop a grateful spirit and work on getting my sense of humor back. Maybe attitude really is everything.
Bible Thought for the Day:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Dear El-Shaddai, the All-Powerful God,
How can I thank you enough for loving me? On days when I feel so discouraged and my failures and the failures of others are magnified in my mind, I feel so stressed. I need to dwell on your love, relax and trust in Your wisdom and power. Please strengthen me today, encourage my heart. Father-God, I need a hug from You, I need to see in some way the vastness of Your love for me. Open my eyes to see beyond my frustration, to see that You are here with all Your power and glory, doing wonderful things in and around me in spite of how I feel.
Change my heart, O God. Help me to live with expectancy instead of hopelessness. Fill me to overflowing with Your presence so I can know that I am not wandering without purpose but living in Your plan with Your favor. How grateful I am that you are my God, a God who loves me and is constantly working on my behalf, doing greater things than I can imagine. I love You.