Several times each and every day we are forced to choose between living a life of wonder or having a crappy attitude.

I admit it.  For nearly all of my 48 years of life I have had a bad attitude.  I’ve had a poor self image, and even the successes I’ve had in life have failed to help me rise above the mud in which my feet were so thoroughly stuck.  I was unable to see myself as anything other than a failure.  I felt that every negative thing in my life was a punishment for being who I was.  Even things that I “knew” to be true from the Bible were only for other people.  Despite being made worthy of God’s love through Christ’s sacrificial death, I was never able to see myself that way.

That was then, this is now.

Recently I began listening to and reading “positive attitude” material.  In all honesty, I didn’t come across any new information.  I’d heard it all before.  But for some reason, this time, it began to stick.

I realized that I had been in the dumps simply because I had decided to be in the dumps. I was “comfortable” there.  There weren’t as many expectations of me there, and there weren’t any surprises there.  My comfort zone was misery.

Now, to be sure, I’ve had some things in my life that any reasonable person would give me a pass on, would acknowledge that I have a valid excuse to be miserable.  One such thing is chronic pain.

But I have come to believe and to know that I have a choice.  I can be miserable with chronic pain, or I can be joyful and grateful despite chronic pain.  If I let the pain define me, then I will not achieve anything worthwhile.  If I allow the negative attitudes of others or the advent of unfortunate circumstances to define me, then I am destined to react.  If, however, I recognize my options and act in a manner consistent with the kind of person I wan to be, then I am destined to become a stronger, better man with unlimited potential to effect change in my life and the lives of everyone I come in contact with.

This morning I found myself at a crossroad of sorts.  While I was getting ready to face the day I was presented with some negative input.  My initial reaction was consistent with my past default settings.  My face crinkled up and I could feel my entire body begin to tense up.  This time I immediately recognized my sinking condition and pushed back, determined to stay positive and enjoy a good day.  Every day is an adventure.  We can choose to search out every nook and cranny for the opportunities that lay before us or we can choose to look out the window and go nowhere.

Several times each and every day we are forced to choose between living a life of wonder or having a crappy attitude.  There are crossroads everywhere we look.  We can choose to stay on the path of wonder and adventure, “OO”; or we can chase after the things that distract us and bring us down, “POO”.

Choose wisely.

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