THE JOURNEY FROM ATTITUDE TO GRATITUDE
Over the coming weeks, I’d like to share my own personal journey with you. These are real moments and real lessons learned from a real guy wrestling with a very real God. I’ve often tried to work myself out of moments of depression, anxiety, and fear. I grew up with a father who always said “It’s all a matter of ATTITUDE” and for the longest time, I actually believed it…but what do you do when you can’t “will” yourself out of the place you’re in. I grew up in a southern family that valued, above any other characteristic, hard work, and despised laziness. So I spent most of my days with a measuring stick hanging just over my outstretched hands.
No matter what I chose to do I felt that it wasn’t good enough, and that I didn’t measure up. It created in me an anxious, frustrated, restless spirit that was quick to anger and slow to grace. The desire to measure up dictated every situation, every decision and every aspect of my journey….creating a deep sense of pride in my work filled with a false assurance in myself and my abilities.
When you decide that it’s all up to you, you lose the one thing that’s so important in life: humility. If you were to follow my path over the years you would see a young man that was so focused on the task at hand that many times missed the moments right before him. I began to realize that while a good work ethic can be a gift from the Lord…it can also feel like an apple from the garden promising you everything but really delivering nothing. Now as I look into the eyes of the next generation being sold the same “American Dream” and in many cases buying into it, I want to hold up a huge sign that says “WAIT…DON’T MISS NOW, FIGHTING FOR TOMORROW”
Do you know what I’m talking about?! What about you? Are you working tirelessly? Carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders while also wearing it as a badge of honor?! Are you feeling the weight of desperation because you believe you have to have all of the answers? Do you feel like you have no choice but to keep it together because if you don’t everything will fall apart? Push pause for a minute and answer this question truthfully: Is it possible that you take pride in those notions and have chosen to have a posture of fear over faith? Could it be that your posture inadvertently led to an elevation of yourself as the answer holder and coincidently also an elevation of your blood pressure as you search for the solutions to all of life’s problems?!
The Bible says to “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the MIGHTY HAND of GOD so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all of your cares on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:5-6
When I read 1 Peter the weight of that message rested fully on my heart. I realized that not only was I a full-blown workaholic missing the moments that mattered most, but it was revealing a true lack of humility in my life. If I’m being honest, I didn’t trust the Lord for my provision. I trusted myself…which again was a huge source of pride and fear. Think about it, if it was really all up to me or you, wouldn’t you be scared out of your mind too?
Remember that often times the hardest parts of the journey are the ones that we are the most thankful for in the end. The moments that seem to be so difficult, appearing to be an impossible obstacle, often become the most obvious moments of God’s faithfulness in our lives. BELIEVE THAT! Impossible is the moment when things fall out of our hands and into His.
I don’t want my son or daughter to carry around an unnecessary burden when our God is calling us to “cast all our cares on Him.” So I wrote a song called “The Journey” that represents the undoing of a lot of my preconceived notions of life. You see, I am quite sure that I don’t have the answers to all of life’s questions like I had hoped I would, and there are times when I get frustrated and feel NOT OK…but today more than ever, I’m learning to trust the Lord daily and live with a different posture. It’s honestly a lesson that I learn and relearn daily. So my father’s phrase is one that I’ve chosen to rephrase. Today I believe a humble heart is a heart full of gratitude so I now say: “It’s all a matter of GRATITUDE.”
Father, while today will bring many trials and tribulations, give me the courage to rest in the knowledge that I can cast all of my cares on You and that You will give grace to all who choose to carry a humble spirit. God don’t let me get caught up in the idea that I have to solve every problem right now.
Lord remind my heart that no matter what I go through that You are good and that it’s ok to rest in that assurance. Lord allow me to find small moments to pray and to trust You when things aren’t going the way I want them to. Above all, God remind me of how faithful You have been before and let me live with a heart that’s wide open. Let me live with gratitude for what You’ve done, and in expectation for what is yet to come.