In his Sermon on the Mount Christ gives the analogy of the wise and the foolish men. The wise man builds his house upon a rock and the foolish man builds upon the sand. The sand is a shifting foundation that cannot support the house trough storms. The rock is the firm foundation that can support the house for the man’s lifetime.
We live in a stormy time. Things happen everyday that can shake us to our foundations. But if our foundations are solid we can withstand any storm that hits.
One thing most parents have in common is the desire to make life good for their children. One of the greatest things a parent can do for their children is to help them develop good attitudes. Teaching children to look for the good can be a strong foundation and can support them through most of life’s struggles. When a person can look on difficulties and even deliberate hurt as a growing experience, life becomes a lot less shaky. American talk show host, Oprah Winfrey said:
“True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience.’”
Without a good attitude, it is easy to become bitter. When we become bitter we see more and more things to be bitter about. If a person were to say to you, “For the next 10 minutes I want you to think about anything but zebras”, you’re going to be thinking only about zebras. The same principle applies to our attitude. If we start the day off assuming it’s going to be a miserable day, we will see plenty of things that can make the day miserable. On the other hand, if we start the day off assuming it is going to be a wonderful, exciting day, we will see those things that will make it that kind of day.
We can’t control everything around us, but we can control more than we think. A good attitude can change the way people treat us. It can even affect how the universe treats us.. Positive energy attracts positive energy while negativity attracts negativity.
Bad things happen to positive people. Your attitude can determine what long term effect those events have on you. A faith in Christ, and a belief that he sees the big picture can help us turn “bad” things into growing experiences. Difficult times in our lives can be like a goldsmith’s furnace. Fiery struggles can either consume us or they can burn off the dross and reveal the gold.
In the great Christian hymn, “How Firm a Foundation” the author, writing in the voice of the Lord, tells us how a positive attitude and faith in Christ can see us through difficult times.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
The soul that on Jesus leans for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
Let’s all stand on the firm foundation of positive attitude. . . . And you can stop thinking about zebras now.
Nature, Beauty, Gratitude: Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer who captures breathtaking images that celebrate life — revealing connections, universal rhythms, patterns and beauty. (9:47, Source – TED Talks)
Thomas S. Monson, General Conference address: An Attitude of Gratitude (21:02)
Thanksgiving Daily: The more often we see the things around us, the more they become invisible to us. Learn how you can live in thanksgiving daily by noticing the wonders and beauties of this world. (1:48, Source – lds.org)
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Video: How Firm a Foundation (4:11)