If any of my friends that know me well came over right now, they would realize almost immediately that something is amiss.
You see, when something’s bothering me, there is nothing that soothes me more than to go into my kitchen and cook. There’s something about chopping, stirring, mixing, and whipping to take my mind of whatever is bothering me.
Sometimes this means I bake. Sometimes this means I cook. Sometimes, when things seem especially dire, I do both.
Right now, I’ve got 12 dozen monster cookies cooling on my table, an entire chicken simmering in my crockpot, a huge batch of puppy chow filling a paper sack next to the stove, a pound of northern beans soaking on the counter, and an assortment of chopped carrots, onions, and celery in containers in the fridge. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do with 12 dozen monster cookies, a sack full of puppy chow, a chicken, beans, and root vegetables at 11:30 pm on a Sunday night, but I guess I’ll come up with something.
My main problem tonight, however, is not how to use the assortment of delicacies I’ve whisked up in the kitchen tonight; it’s how to get rid of this bad attitude I have that’s been plaguing me this past week.
It all started with one person who has a knack for getting under my skin.
That one person ended up coloring my entire attitude like a drop of food coloring in pitcher of water. Before I knew it, everything in my life was permeated by that one single drop. All the good things that happened this week were totally negated. All the not so good things that happened were amplified.
All because of one person.
I prayed about it, but somehow I think my wires got crossed with God. I asked God to help me be slow to anger and quick to forgive, but instead I found that I’m even quicker to anger and slower to forgive than usual. Not exactly the solution I was looking for.
The thing is, I hate feeling this way. I don’t want to walk around seething inside. I don’t want to live with anger brewing inside my heart. I don’t want to allow someone else’s actions to be the deciding factor in whether or not I have joy in my life.
It occurs to me that maybe I’m wrong about this being one person’s fault; or rather, maybe I’m wrong about which one person is to blame.
Perhaps I’m the one who needs to take responsibility for my own bad attitude here.
This caused me to think about something I once read that was written by Charles R. Swindoll about attitudes: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
I can’t change any of what happened last week, up to an including the actions of that one person who totally drove me nuts. I have absolutely no control over any of that stuff. As Mr. Swindoll so eloquently points out, I do have control over something far more important and that is my attitude. What this means for me is, no more allowing other people to color my world with their bad attitudes.
It seems to me that there are very few things in life that I can exert some control over, and my attitude is one of them. You’d better believe I’m going to be relishing in this thought all week long!
(Side note: So, if you’re in the mood to spend time with someone with an extremely positive attitude feel free to stop on by! I’ll have plenty of cookies…and chicken…and who knows what else, all week long.)