ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!!  No, I’m really not shouting at you through the printed page (all caps and bolded letters is akin to shouting in the texting or messaging world).  It’s just that I want to emphasize what most of us know to be true.  Attitude is really a very powerful force that we can control.  Truly, attitude is everything!!

 I felt this truth lived out in my life not too long ago.  I was having a “Crabby Pastor” kind of day which was coloring my outlook on things.  I walked into a store to do some business.  The salesclerk greeted me, but by the expression on her face I sensed that she wasn’t having the best of days either.  I told her what I was there to pick up.  She found the order and rang it up.  The total cost was more than what I expected.  I questioned it, she had a response.  I felt like two potentially crabby people were staring at each other and both on the verge of taking their crabbiness up on notch.  Nope, we didn’t want to go down that road.  I paid the bill and moved on, hoping that each of our days would go better.

For my next purchase I decided to do something a bit different.  I thought I’d try changing my attitude and see if that would change the overall experience that I had with the sales staff.  So, I picked up my items to purchase and went to the checkout station.  The clerk was rushing around trying to stock shelves in between caring for customers.  I was interrupting her progress with getting things on the shelf.  I recognized a potential crabby moment approaching. 

 The clerk noticed what I was purchasing (OK, it happened to be two large bags of mint M&M’s).  She kind of grunted.  I said, “These are my favorites.”  She said, “They are the best!”   I said, “I know, and these are the last two bags, I didn’t leave any for you!”  The clerk laughed and proceeded to tell me about her favorite Christmas brownie recipe using mint M&M’s.  After her mouth-watering description, I said, “I’m coming by next Christmas.  I want to try those.”  She laughed and said, “Come on by, I love to bake.” 

 And just like that, my purchase was rung up, cash was exchanged, my items were bagged, and it was time to move on so the next customer could be cared for.  We both exchanged, “You have a great rest of the day!”  We both left that moment feeling good, with genuine smiles.  I can even say the “crabby pastor” feeling was pushed way back into the deep recesses of my mind, all because of a brief one-minute conversation. 

 I walked out of that store feeling more positive and light-hearted than I had when I walked in, all because of a shift from focusing on the troubles of my day to that of considering how to connect with another person experiencing the journey of life with me.  Attitude is everything! 

 It seems that our world is filled with tension, anxiety, and psychological or emotional darkness.  What the world needs is more light.  Thank goodness, as Jesus followers, we know someone who said, “I am the light of the world.”  Today, let’s each focus on bringing the light to the world.  Think of all the lives we can touch and maybe even impact for the better.  Attitude is everything!!  This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine!

Serving Together,

Pastor Keith