We spend our time absorbed in our lives and later discover it won’t endure. The Jeopardy-life trivia that I made my bed 250 days in a row or that I’m abstinent from sugar and alcohol for 1,096 days straight won’t matter to the generation 100 years from now.
The world is divided among people who are struggling or dancing through their day. Some people are walking around with a cloud over their head. You can nearly reach up and touch the cloud, the burdens they bear are so great. Others seem to skip through their life as if under their feet are the white cotton versions of the grey clouds that hang over others. Others don’t have the clouds over their heads or under they feet. They’re dog paddling through the fogginess of their lives. Many days I feel like I’m in the fog category: I’m not sure where I am and I certainly don’t know how I got there.
Any random set of circumstances can occur in any given moment. Our bumper is rear ended at the intersection. Our wallet is stolen from the office. A child is unexpectedly diagnosed with a lifelong disability or life threatening illness. We set out in our lives with good intentions, but so many factors out of our control pave the way to our personal hell.
Is the concept we all have choices in our attitude a luxury of people who have access to resources? Or is developing the right attitude the springboard for the universe to send resources and choices our way? I meet people every day who have enormous obstacles to overcome yet seem to have found the key to developing a positive attitude anyway. The world would understand their negative frame of mind over their circumstances, yet they refuse to accept this point of view. Contrast them with people who fritter their lives away. They hold Sharpie marked cardboard signs asking for handouts and offering God’s blessings. They believe emotional manipulation of others is a better use of time then manipulating their own emotions and thoughts.
In a 100 years, the trivialities of life will be lost to obscurity and of no consequence. I can’t even comprehend the vastness of the world and that across the ocean are other individuals involved in the minutiae of their lives. But if I bring my attention to now, I can comprehend the person sitting across from me at lunch and give my attention to them without thinking about myself. This focus which flashes like lightening in the dark cloud sky matters for this moment and attracts the attention of others. And this momentary attention is all I have to offer up as a gift and the rest of the time is in God’s hands.