I had a very interesting New Year’s this year. To start, at the end of December, I learned that our family dog will need a pacemaker because she has a disease known as “Sick Sinus Syndrome.” This is a disease in which the heart’s natural pacemaker becomes damaged and is no longer able to generate normal heartbeats at a normal rate. This has led our dog to pass out for a few seconds because of the short time her heart is not beating. The thing with this is that a pacemaker for a dog costs $10,000.
Then, starting around the 29th, my phone service gave out. Not just mine either, but everyone in my area. None of us could make any phone calls. To add to that, our internet and cable company’s lines were down starting the 31st (Which is why I did not post last week), meaning we couldn’t even watch the ball drop come midnight I think both services were out due to our cold, icy, snowy weather we’ve been having.
To top it off, however, on the 1st, my Dad and I got into a car accident. Slid on some black ice. Luckily, we did not hit anyone else, just a telephone pole; and we were not badly hurt either. But let me tell you, it is a pain to be in an accident when the phone service is down! We were lucky that some good Samaritans had different phone services and were able to call emergency services for us. As well as let us call home for a family member to come to pick us up. But as of right now, we are without a reliable vehicle for the winter months.
These are not fun situations, let me tell you! But, these three things that seemed to happen all at the same time, day after day, remind me of this Bible verse:
All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. – Proverbs 15:15
You see, we cannot always choose what happens to us. But do you know what we can choose? Our attitudes. We can take steps to choose our attitude towards every situation we are faced with. We are always going to face struggles in our daily lives. I mean, that’s life, right?
How do you react to the struggles you face? What is your attitude during bad situations? Do you have a cheerful heart? Because let me tell you right now, your attitude colors your whole personality.
With how my year started, I could have chosen to focus on the bad of it all. I could have chosen to feel like the victim, feeling oppressed. My dog’s heart is damaged, she has fainting spells. We don’t have a winter vehicle, and it is still winter. We couldn’t celebrate new years eve like we normally did, and we couldn’t contact anyone either. But I didn’t.
Yeah, my dog has a disease. But she is still a happy dog who otherwise is healthy. When we got into the wreck, ask my dad, I kept pointing out blessings. “Hey Dad, maybe by getting into the wreck God saved us from something even worse!”, “Hey, look at that! The pole could have hit your door and ended up hitting you, but it didn’t!”, “Maybe this is one way to get the needed funds to help our dog.” And honestly, having no cable, internet, or phone services led us to have a fun family night on new years eve! And even during the accident and having no phones showed just how much others care and are helpful! The paramedic even let me sit in the front seat of his vehicle because it was freezing out and I was shivering. There is faith in humanity, even when a lot of times we may not see it.
In the past, I would not have viewed things the way I did. But this is one thing I am learning more and more. God has been teaching me that what I fill my mind with is ultimately what I become and let out through my attitudes, words, actions, and desires. So, maybe the reason it is hard to be cheerful in bad situations is because of what you are filling yourself up with? What types of movies do you watch? What are you doing on the internet? What books are you reading? What conversations do entertain? What do you watch on television? If you play video games, what games are you playing? These things contribute to who you are and how you perceive the situations you face!
Replace harmful input with wholesome material. This is how to obtain a cheerful heart. I’ll leave you with this little verse:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. – Philippians 4:8