Sunday, January 24, 2010
ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE
"Aircraft performance is accomplished by controlling the aircraft attitude and power output. Aircraft attitude is the relationship of its longitudinal and lateral axes to the Earth’s horizon."
This highly technical statement speaks of ATTITUDE or level of flight. It has a direct relatonship to the power output which controlls the plane's ALTITUDE. It occurs to me that my life needs to have the Lord's control to level and empower me if I am to increase my spiritual ALTITUDE!
Yesterday I was THINKING. Today I’m wrestling with my ATTITUDE. Have you ever heard someone remark, “Well, he/she sure has an ATTITUDE!”? The interesting thing about that statement is that it applies to everyone. The only difference is the tone in which the statement is made. Usually we hear it as it refers to one who is exhibiting a less than good one. Be it haughty or naughty, it’s never nice.
As I weigh my own ATTITUDE I recognize that the times when it fits the less than “nice” category are the periods when I allow the circumstances around me to take control of my mind. For instance, I have observed in comparing “happiness” to “joy” that “happiness is measured by surface happenings” while “true joy springs from deeper sources within” the life. The superficial happiness is a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs as the emotions are allowed to blow where they will with every wind of change.
It reminds me of the lyrics to a scene highlighted in the television comedy series, HEE HAW. Four overalled hayseeds singing “Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me.” We laugh about it, but if the truth be known, we laugh because there may be more truth than comedy in its application to our lives. Misery loves company, and perhaps levity hides the fact that many often feel it’s the only luck they have.
I’m just glad that my life is not guided by luck or arranged by fate. If it was, perhaps I might see that song as viable. No, my destiny is guided, not by the throw of a pair of dice, but by the very same Hands that reached down to this created earth and shaped man from its clay, and by breathing into him life filled with His own likeness, set his feet on the path of intimacy with Himself. Why, that truth alone gives me a reason to rejoice! You see, that God Who took such pains with man’s creation knows and loves me, and works out my destiny always for His good pleasure and my good. I call that having an ATTITUDE and I want to keep it ever as the character my life portrays.
A problem exists, however, that challenges this ATTITUDE’s ongoing victory in my life. In my last blog I mentioned my friend’s “categories of sin”, the first of which was Sins of Thought. The second he mentions follows right on its heels, and in fact grows out of sinful thought. You guessed it, Sins of ATTITUDE!. I must maintain a prayerful watch on my THOUGHTS, even as I begin to deal with my ATTITUDE. They are linked as foundational building blocks of holy living. What THOUGHTS begin, ATTITUDES continue to build upon.
I’ve already mentioned the ATTITUDE of joy. Others which may be weighed are those which are revealed in one’s love and passion for God, and love and compassion for others. These primary ATTITUDES cover a multitude of applications and are the subject of God’s primary directive for us. Do you remember what Jesus said was the greatest commandment? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” And the second, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt. 22:37/39)
These primary commandments, when followed consistently in truth, are the foundational THOUGHTS that result in Holy ATTITUDES. When I fail to keep my mind upon that which is Holy and full of joy, the result is ATTITUDES like pride, self-righteousness, spiritual complacency, self-centeredness, prejudice, unforgiveness, worldliness and even unbelief. It’s disturbing how the list goes on! Have you ever built your life with such ATTITUDES? I am ashamed to say, I have, and it’s no wonder why bouts of depression set in as a result. Been there? Done that?
So, today, I’m beginning anew to let the Lord search out my mind and heart, and cast out the ATTITUDES that rob me of the joy I find in Him. How about you? Why not let Him work His will in you today?
No, I did not forget my TITLE LINE. When I begin to THINK of my Lord and rejoice, my ATTITUDE takes wings and my ALTITUDE changes. Paul said it best. “But God, who is rich in mercy…when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ…and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-6) And that’s past tense with continued action. Now, that’s what I call ALTITUDE!
BE ENCOURAGED, MY FRIENDS!