In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Pastor Freed used this quote – “The last great freedom of man is the freedom to choose his attitude under any given set of circumstances.” (Victor Frankl)
Nelson Mandela wrote of his indomitable will during his long incarceration. He refused to give in to depression and maintained a positive mental attitude, which served him well during that period and afterwards. None of us controls what might happen in life, but all of us have the power to control how we react to those things. Some react rather badly, indicating that they are not really in control of themselves either. Some maintain a calm during a crisis at which we might marvel. Both had the freedom to choose their attitude. What was the difference?
We often heard the term “moral compass” these days, used to describe an internal sense of right and wrong that is seemingly lacking in some. I prefer to think of this innate ability to discern that right thing to do to be based more upon a solid foundation of faith. One must have the solid footing of faith to stand upon or else be constantly out of balance on the shifting sands of fear, uncertainty and doubt. If one starts from that solid foundation of faith, then choosing the attitude with which to face challenges in life becomes much easier. A person of faith starts with the phrase in mind from Romans 8:31 – “If God is for us, who could be against us?” One can easily see how that is a solid foundation from which to build a positive attitude.
So, at the moment, we are not free to move about in public without wearing an mask, or to join large crowds in celebration of something or even to hug our friends or relatives. We are still free to find the good in all of these temporary restrictions and to develop a positive and supportive attitude about coming together to defeat this unseen enemy. Turn your frustration and anger not on the people who have imposed these restrictions in an effort to contain this pandemic, but, rather, against the cause of the problem and do your part to help defeat the virus.
Let us all use this crisis to touch base with our faith once again and build the attitudes that we need to get through this together. You are free to choose your attitude during this time of great stress – choose wisely.