Growing up, I hated hearing words like, “You need to change your attitude” or “watch your attitude”. I really didn’t like being told things like that. What would sometimes make it worse, was when the realization would finally click with me that the person who said it had been right.
Sometimes it’s just downright hard to have a good attitude about something you don’t like, or don’t want to do. It’s something I’ve personally had to spend a lot of time working at. Watching what I say, how I react, and I don’t pretend to think that I’ve got it all figured out and have the right attitude at all times in all situations. There are still things that drive me crazy.
But I have learned a lot over the years and am continuing to learn as I continue to grow in Christ. As I’ve tried to make myself more open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and what He has for me to do, I’ve found myself in situations I would never have imagined for myself.
I have to admit that awhile ago, I almost messed up and missed a divine appointment because of my attitude.
Dan had this dinner that he was to attend and I was asked to go with him. It wasn’t a dinner I was really looking forward to. Truth be told, I was kind of resentful for having to spend an evening away from my kids. I dragged my feet getting ready to leave and had a grumbling in my heart. I walked out of our house, put on a smile and tried to put on a good attitude on the outside.
We ended up sitting at a table where we knew no one and we politely introduced ourselves to the others at our table. I was seated with Dan to my left and another gentleman on my right. It wasn’t long before the Holy Spirit started telling me to change my attitude. As I talked with the gentleman beside me, I could sense a brokenness in him. He knew that Dan was a pastor, making me a pastor’s wife and he started telling me that he used to attend a couple of Pentecostal churches back in the day. Then he switched to a couple of Baptist churches. He went through 5 church splits within a few years before he threw in the towel on church and God out of frustration and the pain of going through so much garbage in the church splits. This was the reason we were to be at this dinner – a divine appointment. I quickly prayed asking for forgiveness for my rotten attitude and asked for guidance as I continued talking to the man seated on my right.
The conversation continued with him telling me his daughter had been praying for him and wanted him to come back to church and God. His response was to sit down and write a 20+ page letter to his daughter explaining to her all the reasons why he could no longer believe in God or go to church. His plan was to give the letter to his daughter so she would stop praying for him. But something different happened. Instead, he went outside of his own community and went to a service at a church he’d never set foot into before. At the end of the service the pastor was greeting him and he felt that he should show the letter to that pastor. So he did. The pastor read the letter and then they talked for a long while. He told me that since that time, he’s been reading his Bible regularly and praying too. He’s not attending a church at the moment, because he’s not sure he’s ready for that yet.
He had heard the story of the river rescue and was asking me questions about the details of what had happened and what God had done that night. As I told him the story, I could see a longing in his eyes. God is calling this man back to him and He was working through me that evening as one very small part in His plan to bring this lost sheep back into the pasture.
That man was so grateful to hear our story and as he said, “it’s encouraging to know that God is still real and still does miraculous things.” He said he needed our story and was so glad that we were seated at the same table for our divine appointment. I’m not sure which of us came away from that dinner more blessed, but I think it was me for waking up to why I was there and getting a better attitude in place just in the nick of time.
The reason for the dinner that night was of little consequence in the light of eternity, missing an evening with my kids was a small price to pay, getting to play a part in a soul in the process of returning to God – that’s what I want my life to be about. Helping hurting people find God. And so I found my attitude adjusted and more aligned with what He wants for me. It was a painful lesson, one I almost messed up by putting a priority on my own selfish desires. Thank God I went to that dinner, even if I was dragging my feet in the beginning. Thank God for attitude adjustments.