September 17, 2016

How can we "Sing in the Storm"?

We can truly be peaceful in the middle of tempests. I am not saying that we should all be able to be carefree in the midst of horrific natural and unnatural disasters. That would seem unworkable and heartless.

I am mainly talking about remaining peaceful in the inevitable drawbacks that life brings—as far as possible. We can’t control many of our circumstances. But, we are in charge of our reactions to them.   As seen in the image above, even hurricanes/cyclones have areas of tranquility in the middle. This is called the eye of the storm. Rain and wind is almost nonexistent. In the same way, every person has a center of calmness.

Okay, I know that digging deep within ourselves to find peace is anything but easy for most people. Like many individuals, I have plenty of ongoing trials. Many of them do not seem to be improving. Since I cannot control them, I have been struggling to change my outlook. The only other option is despair, which, of course, is not a viable alternative.

The Need for joy Amid Turbulence

Recently, I posted three articles about attitude here, here, and here. I’m going to continue that theme today.

Joel Osteen says that we create much of our own happiness. I would like to summarize two stories that he told:

The Amusement Park
 A lady and her family waited 45 minutes to ride a popular amusement-park ride. The long wait annoyed her. When the family finally boarded the ride, it was short and disappointing. She scowled and complained loudly as she exited the attraction. The people waiting in line stared. Her family, on the other hand, came out smiling and chatting happily.
The Hurricane
During a recent hurricane that hit Texas, a local TV reporter interviewed some of the victims. Understandably, 99% of the victims cried and told stories of various levels of devastation. However, one lady approached the news team smiling and seemingly happy. She said that her house had been totally washed away in the flood waters. She had nothing left. Literally. Yet, she had her Bible and her health. She planned to start her life over.
A good attitude is crucial. As Joel Osteen says, “Complain and remain. Praise and be raised.”

The Methods for Praising/Showing Thankfulness

There are numerous ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Each person must choose what works best for them. Individuals may choose to write down, think about, read, play, or sing selections that boost their mood.

The Bible

The scriptures are full of examples of the necessity to move beyond a rocky past or present. The future is the place to focus if we don’t want our lives to remain exactly as they are now.

My Conclusion

Every day, we have plenty of opportunities to think in either an optimistic or pessimistic manner. However, if we cultivate a negative mentality, we can’t expect to live in victory. That’s a kind of tunnel vision. We are more likely to find success when we expand our ability to see beyond present and past drawbacks.

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” Proverbs 4:25 (NIV)

Please see more about cultivating a good attitude in my book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds.

Are you singing in your (temporary) storms?

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