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~*1 John 4:7*~

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- Princess Catherine ~*~

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why a Pleasant Attitude?

Colleen hated math. It drove her crazy every time, and she could never grasp the concept no matter how hard she tried. It was hopeless.

"Colleen, honey," said her mom one bright day. "I've noticed that you've started to get behind on your math. Today I'd like you to do an extra page so that you can have the summer off of all of your schoolwork."

The bright day instantly turned dark and gloomy in Colleen's eyes. Had she heard her mom correctly? Not one, but TWO pages of math to complete, along with all her other schoolwork!

Angrily, Colleen yanked her math book off of her shelves and slammed it down on the table.
Mom is so mean! she inwardly wailed. Doesn't she know how much I hate math?! I'm going to be doing schoolwork until dinner!

Colleen's brother, Jason, who was sitting on the couch peacefully conjugating Latin verbs, looked up in surprise as entered the room. "What's wrong, Coll?" he asked.

"Oh, be quiet," Colleen fumed. "Can't you see I'm trying to do my schoolwork?"

"Well, I'm trying to do my schoolwork, too! And I was here first!"

"That's too bad." Colleen plunked herself on the couch and furrowed her brow as she tried to work out the hypotenuse of a triangle. "Seven squared plus fifteen squared"

"Colleen! Can you just BE QUIET!"

That was the last straw. Her pencil stabbed the math book as Colleen scribbled furiously over the math problem.

"Can YOU just be quiet! I'M trying to do MY math!"

"Colleen! Jason!"

The two kids froze as mom's voice floated from the kitchen. "Cut it out! Colleen, go into another room, please!"

Colleen flounced out of the room with her math, followed by Jason's triumphant smirk.

In the kitchen, mom sighed. Why did the kids had to squabble so much? She turned back to making the bread, and then gasped.
Was I on the second cup of flour, or the third?

Oh, no, mom realized. I can't believe I lost track of this! Now the bread would probably be ruined.

Mom was in a black mood as she finished mixing up the bread.
This batch had better turn out all right...

--- --- ---

Have you ever had a day like this? One thing happens, and the whole rest of the day spirals downward.

I know that, for at least me, the downward spiral begins when I get a bad attitude. It could be over math, like Colleen, or something else. As you can see from our story, this attitude is contagious.

I can well remember a time when my family went hiking at a nearby battlefield. And I really didn't want to go. Really didn't, as in REALLY didn't. It was summer, I had been playing with my friends, and I just didn't feel like taking a five mile hike in July.

Therefore, I pouted. I put on a really big frown and sulked while we were driving there. When we got out, I grumbled. When we started the hike, I lagged behind and wished I was anywhere else but here. All throughout the hike, my parents and my siblings were pestered by my complaints. "Are we almost done?" "Can we turn around?" "It's so hot! Who's idea was this?" "Why couldn't we go to the pool?"

As you can imagine, the hike was miserable for everyone. Miserable for me because I made it that way. My negative mindset made me miss out on the little white flowers in that patch of sun, or the doe and her fawn that gazed at us from across the field. My family had to listen to my whining, and I'm sure everyone that saw us thought, "Wow, what a spoiled little brat that girl is. I bet her family isn't a Christian."

Having a bad attitude isn't only inconsiderate of others.

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

Philippians 2:14-16

God commands it.

Having a pleasant attitude can draw other people to Christ. Maintaining a smile even as you have to wait in a HUGE check-out like in the grocery store, or keeping your cool when someone is rude or mean to you makes people think, "She's different from others--in a good way. I wonder what makes her like that."

On the other hand, acting like a brat is NOT going to impress anyone.

"But what if it's not my fault?" That could have been, and probably was, Colleen's excuse. After all, who had given her this preposterous load of schoolwork? You guessed it, her mom.

I have used that excuse for acting horribly myself. A ton of times. I know how easy it is to blame your parents for your grumpiness.

Usually on the weekends, my mom comes to me and tells me to do something for someone else. Maybe knit something, or sew something. And I didn't like it a bit. I remember thinking, 'The weekends are the only times I have free time--no schoolwork, no chores...and you want me to waste it all doing WHAT? Something for someone else? No way!'

I thought that it was MOM who was being inconsiderate and selfish, not ME.

Then, very recently, mom told me the reason why she always wants me to do something for someone else. When she was a teenager, she was not a Christian. She told me that she basically wasted her entire teen years! Instead of doing something helpful, she played around and snapped at anyone who tried to get her to do otherwise.

She was making me do those things because she didn't want me to waste my teenage years.

We can see basically the same thing in the story of Colleen. Her mom wanted her to do extra math...because she wouldn't have to spend her summer catching up! But Colleen didn't notice that, and instead made things miserable.

One last thing (this post is kind of getting long!): when you have a good attitude, you'll find that things are a lot easier. When I'm doing my schoolwork with grumpy, unhappy thoughts, I usually tend to do worse then when I'm cheerful.

Don't make things harder than they actually are!

In Christ,

Princess Izori

1 comment:

  1. That is an AWSOME post, and I HATE math! But you are right, doing things with a good atitude make's it much more easy!

    Also, you are so right, people are watching us, even if we don't think they are, they are! And we have to represent Christ in Everything we do!

    Your Loving Sister in Christ,