I recently came across this quote by William Arthur Ward, that gave me reason to pause and reflect.
The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
The realist adjusts the sails.
I’ve never considered myself a pessimist, but I admit, that I have found myself complaining at times about the “winds” of 2020.
Rather, I have always thought of myself as an optimist, and while I hope and pray that things will change, I don’t know that I have always expected them to, so perhaps I am not as optimistic as I thought.
So, I must agree with Ward, that even as we hope things change and pray things change, we might also need to be a realist, and “adjust the sails” in order to navigate our current seas successfully.
Paul provides a wonderful example of this. He wrote the book of Philippians while in prison awaiting execution, a book that seems to be all about attitude: attitude checks and attitude adjustments. In it, Paul doesn’t complain, and though he says that he would like to be able to visit the Philippians again, and knows that God could make it happen, I don’t think he expects it. Instead, he adjusts his “sails” and uses his situation to further the gospel and bring glory to God.
Our attitude colors our entire world: both inner and outer. It affects our personal well being as well as our relationships with others. Yes, we may have reason to complain. Yes, I think we can continue to hope things change, and realize God can change them should He wish. But the bottom line is we need to use the situation we find ourselves in to bring glory to God. Let’s set our sails for that course.