Dick Brackett is Special Projects Manager for World Christian Broadcasting. His career has included producing audio-visual materials for a major United States corporation. For 7 years he was Bozo the Clown on local television. His hobbies include hunting, golf, softball, travel, and spending time with his wife, his children, and his three grandchildren.
Over the course of my life, I have learned that there are two basic ways of looking at life, and the one you choose will determine the quality of your life. You might be able to think of other ways of doing this, and, if so, go right ahead. Your way is probably as good as mine and maybe better. If it works for you and you are happy with it, that’s great!
I believe that you can either accept what happens to you and make the most of it, or you can choose to gripe about everything and spend your time complaining about things. Think of an 8-ounce glass with only 4 ounces of water in it. Some say that if you think the glass is half empty, you are a pessimist; but if you looked at the glass as being half full, you were an optimist. I would add to that, “A person dying of thirst would look at the glass and say, “Who cares whether it is half full or half empty, just give me the drink!”
Everything that happens to us will have some effect on us, either positive or negative. The Apostle Paul spoke of this, in the New Testament, in the book of Philippians, chapter four, verse eleven, when he wrote, “I have learned to be content in whatever condition I find myself.” In other words, he could adjust to whatever happened to him and not let it upset him. That is saying a lot, because Paul was subjected to more punishment and hardship than most people ever have to face. Listen to how Paul describes his own experiences: “Are they servants of Christ? I more so, in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten numberless times, often in danger of death. Five times I received thirty nine lashes from the Jews. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, and spent a night and a day in the deep of the sea. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers from false brothers. I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure, not to mention the daily pressures on me concerning all the churches.”
And yet, because of his faith in Christ, Paul could still say, “I have learned to be content in whatever condition I find myself.”
My grandson Donovan has a neat way of putting it. He said, “What happens to you can make you either better or bitter, it’s up to you.” I think Donovan’s right! I can’t control what happens to me, for the most part, but I can certainly control how I react to it!
We are all subject to the same surroundings and conditions as those around us. How we receive the events of our lives and how we react to them is entirely up to us. We can either accept them and work with them to our own advantage by leaning on the arm of Jesus, or we can blame other people, or bad luck or FATE, and allow ourselves to become negative about life.
As Donovan would say, “We can become better or bitter. It’s all up to us.”
This is Dick Brackett, wishing all of you a better day than you have ever had before.