An Upward Looking Attitude

Newscaster Paul Harvey once related a story about a woman from Michigan who vacationed in Florida. She found a secluded spot on the roof of her hotel to soak up a few rays of sunshine, and in order to get a “total” tan, she removed all her clothing. Within a half-hour the hotel manager was beside her insisting that she covers up. She argued that nobody was in sight. He agreed. Problem was – she was stretched out over the hotel skylight.

It occurs to me that the hotel’s problems began because somebody was looking up! Which normally is an excellent thing to do. At least in attitude. But what a surprise lay in store that day for those beneath the skylight.

As you know, some folks spend their lives looking down. Downcast in spirit, they hang their heads and lead negative and joyless lives. Frankly, it’s a difficult way to live.

Others are constantly looking out. They live in fear and watch vigilantly for problems, real or imaginary, that threaten their happiness. Because they are risk-averse, they seldom challenge themselves to grow and rarely make a difference in life.

Still others seem always to be looking around. Forever searching for a better partner, a better job or a better deal, they keep a watchful eye out and seldom experience a lasting commitment.

And others yet can be found too-often looking back. They believe their best days are behind them and they have no hope for the future. They can’t fully enjoy today because their eyes are on yesterday.

But a few vibrant folks are usually found looking up. These resilient individuals have learned how to look beyond problems to solutions; beyond discouragement to hope. Their positive attitude draws others in. They see the good because they look for it. They are encouragers and, at times, their hopeful attitude inspires those around them.

For people who learn the habit of looking up, the payoff is usually satisfaction and joy. As Earl Nightingale correctly stated, “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.”

You can tell a lot about a person simply by noticing which direction they are inclined to look. Do they look down? Or do they look out? Maybe they are often found looking around or looking back. But there will always be some who will look up, no matter which direction others may face.

The better question to ask is, which way will we look?

And so, we pray: Father, it seems that I look in many directions depending on how I feel that moment or that day. Some days it is hard to look up, but those are the days I especially need to look up and look out to see that you are the solution to my problems. Help me to be positive in my outlook, my attitude and my walk. Amen

Grace and Peace

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