Tick-tock, tick-tock, I’m still waiting for the New Year’s Eve ball to drop.
Time is fleeting, unless you’re waiting for something, anything, to happen. Circumstances don’t always change, but an outlook can. I need a new attitude.
As a reminder, I looked up the words to Patti LaBelle’s 1984 song by the same name and confirmed what I already knew.
Patti LaBelle had many hits as I was growing up, but what surprised me and turned me into a fan was when I learned she loves God. She said in an interview, some people thought releasing a gospel album was a reaction to her secular music falling off. Quickly she defended her actions by saying, “Those people need to stop and think because I’m not coming home to anything. I’ve been here.”
The older we get, the wiser we become — until we don’t really remember what it was we got up to do, but surely it will come to us if we keep circling the room. Attitudes are a revolving door.
When the shepherd boy David sat in the fields watching sheep, he often played a string instrument and sang unto the Lord. Later many of his Psalms, songs of instruction, were given to the minstrels of the day for worship at the temple. A time of lamenting often starts a psalm out with the woes of life, but somewhere in the middle, King David had a change of attitude. His words became psalms of praise.
The Psalms have the words of encouragement that have lifted my spirit time and time again when something wasn’t going my way. How easily at the start of a new year we can overextend our enthusiasm only to burn out or allow the resolutions to fizzle, habits promised as the year was young.
King Solomon, the wise son of King David said, “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.”
A reminder everyday but especially at the beginning of a new year — change is inevitable. The question is how will we react to the changes or will we take courage to change the things we can, like our own attitude, or the circumstances that cause our bad attitude.
Have we forgotten the one unchanging aspect of our lives? If we are truly disciples of Christ Jesus, we know He is the unchanging, eternal God. We’d like to believe we can change his mind. Abraham certainly tried before Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for godlessness and disrespect. He is loving and He is gentle, but He also is fierce and daunting. He is the full countenance of God, the beginning to the end. If we have read the Bible, we know the peace of eternal rest comes after trials and tribulations.
What makes the difference? Should we try harder, do more, argue less? Perhaps, more importantly as we start each day, we can choose our attitude.
Truly, we do not know what another’s life is like unless we walk in their shoes, and even walking beside them, we cannot see as they see. We are all unique. I don’t know what struggles bring you down, but regardless of the circumstances, we can approach life with a new attitude. As Patti LaBelle sings in the bridge of her song, “Never knew I had such a lesson to learn.”
I’ve got to work to get it right, as she said, “... tidied up my point of view.”
I’m still working on a new attitude.
VICKY BRANTON is the Teche Life editor at The Daily Iberian.