Spirituality for Today – July 2008 – Volume 12, Issue 12

Reflections On Attitude

By Rev. Mark Connolly

Photo of a man running up a hillIf you study the writings of Plato and Socrates in their dialogues and in their essays, they constantly repeat one word that explains their whole philosophy of life. That one word in Greek is the word metanoia. This is a Greek word that means change of heart and a change of attitude. The whole premise in this one word is that if you want to grow a little bit every day, you have to change a little bit every day.

What we did when we were 20 is not going to be the same as when we were 50. Change is absolutely necessary if we are to become an integrated personality and a Christ-like one. As busy as our schedules might be, even though people are working two jobs, no matter how hectic their lives might be, they have to develop, if they want to be a Christ-like personality, a whole new attitude about time.

God is very democratic. He gives us 1440 minutes every day. We can either be very happy or very sad. Abraham Lincoln confirmed this theory when he said "you are as happy as you make up your mind to be". The twenty four hours that God has given to us today was that which was mentioned in the Lord's Prayer when he said "give us this day our daily bread". Each one of us is responsible for today. Each day should find us trying to practice more Christ-like charity, more Christ-like compassion, more Christ-like tenderness. This is our way of making today a safer day.

The second attitude we have to develop while we are on this earth is our attitude towards suffering. We know from the suffering of Christ suffering did not pass by him. And it is not going to pass by us. Every one of our sufferings has to be united with the sufferings of Christ if suffering is to have any meaning and if suffering is not to be wasted. If you go back to the Middle Ages, you might recall there was an epidemic called the black plague in which one third of the population of Europe died. If you go back into the 19th century you will find that over 100 million people throughout the world lost their lives by influenza. Our attitude toward suffering has to always be in union with Christ especially where he says, "not my will be done, but yours".

The other attitude that has to be developed is something that most people never want to think about. Our life after this life of ours on earth is over. We know from our past that hundreds of millions of people have died. We know from our family that some of the members of our family have died. But even though these memories of death are all around us, we don't want to think of the time when God is going to call us back from this earth. All during the Easter season and the Pentecost season we hear the expression that life after this earth will find us having a Resurrection with Christ, reunion with our loved ones and a reward for a life well spent.

Every day is a new challenge to each one of us. If we are to be happy and productive, we need to have the right attitude. We have to be willing to change. The right attitude toward the subject of time, the subject of suffering and the subject of life after this earth, these attitudes enable us to work for the honor and glory of God and in the meantime have a wonderful time on this earth.