Everyday you are faced with circumstances you can’t control and responses you can.
When the flu hits, you can either be annoyed with the timing of its arrival or see it as an opportunity to catch up on some much-needed R ‘n R.
When an unexpected bill shows up in the mail, you can either be stressed about where the money will come from or use the opportunity to reflect on where your money is being spent and how you can better steward your finances.
When conflict happens in your relationships, you can either blame the other person and write them off as difficult and unreasonable or use the conflict as a teachable moment to learn something new about personality differences.
Each circumstance provides an opportunity, but it’s up to you to choose.
You can either react to the things you can’t control or be intentional about putting into practice the things you can.
Because what you can control is …
What you believe.
Whether or not you love and serve people.
What you have hope in.
How honest you are.
Who your friends are.
How well you listen.
Where you get your source of inspiration.
What you choose to rely on for strength.
How you interpret your circumstances.
How you respond to your circumstances.
How kind you are to others.
How kind you are to yourself.
How often you say “thank you.”
How you express your feelings.
Whether or not you ask for help.
Whether you choose to practice gratitude.
How many times you smile.
How you spend your time.
How many new things you try.
How much time you spend worrying.
How often you think about your past.
Whether or not you judge other people.
Whether or not you try again after a setback.
How you pick yourself up after a setback.
How much you appreciate the little things.
What you notice as beautiful in your life.
And if you rely on God for help or depend on yourself.
So the next time a circumstance arises that catches you off guard, see it as an opportunity to focus the moment on what you can control, not on what you can’t.
”I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” —Philippians 4:8-9 (MSG)