An Attitude Adjustment

A friend of mine recently sent me an email with an interesting story. She also included a note saying that this story had helped her a lot, and that another friend had initially shared it with her.

Then she wrote: "Sometimes we just need an attitude adjustment!" I, too, found this helpful, and thought I'd share it with you, too:

A famous writer was sitting in his study. He picked up his pen and began writing a list of all the events that had happened to him that past year. He wrote:

  • Last year, my gallbladder was removed. I was stuck in bed due to this surgery for a long time.
  • I turned 60 last year, and had to give up my favorite job. I had spent 30 years of my life with this publishing company.
  • My father died.
  • My son had a car accident, and had to stay in the hospital with a cast on his leg for several days.
  • The car was destroyed in the accident.

His concluding statement was, “Alas! It was such bad year!”

When the writer's wife entered the room, she found her husband looking dejected, sad and lost in his thoughts. She carefully read what he had written, silently left the room, and came back shortly with another piece of paper on which she had written her summary of the year’s events and placed it beside her husband’s paper. When her husband saw that she had written something in response — he read her “take” on the year’s events:

  • Last year I finally got rid of my gallbladder, which had given me many years of pain.
  • I turned 60 with sound health and retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write better and with more focus and peace.
  • The same year, my father, at the age of 95 without depending on anyone and without any critical conditions, met his Creator.
  • The same year, God blessed my son with life. My car was destroyed, but my son was alive and without permanent disability.

At the end she wrote, "This year was an immense blessing and it passed well!"

Now, I don't know if this story is true, but it does have a good point, and like my friend, I have found the illustration very helpful in my own life.

It's easy to get discouraged and to focus on everything that went wrong, and it's okay to feel "down" or discouraged — we all have those days. I think the problem is when we get "stuck" in those feelings and can't see the positive, good things in life — or the good that God promises to bring out of bad situations. The Good News is that God meets us right where we are! And my friend is right — sometimes we just need an attitude adjustment to stop and realize all that we have to be grateful for in our lives.



Cathy Harris ovalCathy finds great joy in serving as co-pastor at Spiceland Friends Church and in ministering alongside the wonderful folks in our church family. She loves music and enjoys singing, playing the piano, and dabbling a bit on the mountain dulcimer, autoharp, and lap harp. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her husband, Tom, their children, and her granddog, Jack. Her greatest desire is to serve God with all her heart.

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