I’ve been hearing a lot about attitude lately. My wife posted a quote by educator and motivational speaker Bob Moawad online today “Attitudes are contagious. Do you want people around you to catch yours?” Hmmm. I may have been told a time or two growing up that I had a “bad attitude”. I might have even had a shirt that said “I Love My Bad Attitude”. Then again, was my attitude really bad, or did my sense of propriety simply differ from someone else’s who happened to be in a position of authority over me? In my own defense, I’m going with the latter. Maybe it was they who had the bad attitude about my misunderstood contempt or lack of motivation. In their defense, I doubt that.
While in the Coast Guard, I spent some time in various types of aircraft – I even got a little bit of “stick time”. My pilot fiends introduced me to an instrument called the “Aircraft Attitude Indicator” – or – “Artificial Horizon”. I learned that attitude is important when controlling the flight of an aircraft. If the aircraft is not kept in the correct attitude, or position, to maintain flight – it will stop flying and begin falling! Some aircraft are more forgiving than others, and they recover quickly from a bad attitude. However, for the most part, push the stick forward too hard and you nose dive; pull back too hard, the nose goes too high, you lose airspeed and stall. As long as I kept an eye on my attitude, it was smooth flying. I was amazed that I could even fly in zero visibility through clouds and fog just by watching my altitude and attitude gauges.
We’re told in the Bible’s book of Ephesians to “be made new in the attitude of your minds”. This makes sense to me. I’ve found I can do anything better and with more ease by approaching it with a good attitude – even if it’s something I don’t want to do. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar says “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will”. This is true whether you’re procrastinating over an unpleasant chore or you’re battling a life threatening illness – whether you’ve just lost your keys or you just lost a loved one. No, this is not easy. But it is the foothold in the end of my rope. Knowing God’s “got this”, even when I don’t, has been my saving grace countless times. Referring back to the Moawad quote above – I hope this outlook is contagious.
Zig Ziglar also said “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Aptitude is a nice, and sometimes prideful mark or competency gained through practice and self discipline. However, when aptitude fails and life’s sunny skies cloud over, “Being made new in the attitude of our minds” also requires us to check our attitudes and let the One who made us control our hands on that stick. Keeping our eyes on Him as our “Attitude Indicators” will keep our noses from going too low or too high. Only then can we can keep flying even when we don’t like what we see outside our windows.
© 2014 Curt Savage Media