"Altitudinal" Change

10-26-1997
“Altitudinal” Change

You know? I’ve always been told by my family and those that know me well that there are days I have an “attitude”. When I’m told that, I think…”Who are they to say that? They think I’ve got an attitude? Well good GRIEF! They should just go look in the mirror! Who do THEY THINK THEY ARE? WHO ARE THEY TO LABEL ME? (Sigh!) O.K. Maybe they are right. Yea. They’re right. O.K. I can have an attitude. So understand that I was very anxious to have an “attitudinal” change! Borrowing the title of a popular book…if I was going to “Sport a ‘Tude”, then I wanted it to be a good one!

So I set about changing my attitude. I prayed. I discussed it with my husband. (Who…by the way, was a little TO EAGER to discuss it with me!) I was determined to have a positive, thoughtful attitude toward life and life’s challenges. Did it work? Well…let’s just say that I have to pray about it daily. You know kicking a life-long habit is hard! It takes daily prayer and determination! It takes GOD!

I was quite determined that my “attitudinal” change, would not be a “latitudinal” change! I was determined to not change one bad attitude for another one; nor, did I want to be judgmental, harsh, critical, etc. It has been one of the most difficult struggles I have ever dealt with! Why? Well, you know? It is my sin nature that causes me to have a bad attitude. Until I get to Heaven, I am gonna have to constantly be alert to the easy and natural way I can develop a bad attitude! If I’m not alert, I’m in trouble!! After all, the enemy is alert. He prowls around lookin’ to gobble me up! I have to be vigilant!

Now, however, I am praying a little differently. When I see the needs in my church family for teachers, workers, PEOPLE…I’ve decided to pray for an “altitudinal” change. ‘Cause you see, our church is short on workers. Why? (I’ll get back to that later). I figure if I change my “altitude” by getting on my knees and really praying…then those prayers can make a difference. Yes. I know that God knows and sees the areas of need in my church. He knows. God knows everything! But you know? Something special happens to me when I’m on my knees. I may be “bowing down”…letting my requests be made known. But my spirit is lifted high and above all these earthly problems and trials. I have the privilege of being right in God’s presence! Now that’s an altitude change!

God, help me to love these children as if they were my own. Give me the words to say when they are good…and not so good. Give me warm arms and a loving heart in which to embrace them. Give me clean ears to hear clearly what they are trying to say and make understood to me. Give me a ready smile for every child. Help me to laugh with them. Even when I’ve paint in my hair and a run in my stockings. Give me the discipline to find the time each and every week to think of them outside of Sunday School. Give me the time to write a note to each child. Give me the desire to pray for them daily. God, help me love them as You love them. Any less won’t work. If I should get discouraged or lonely for Christian friends my own age, help me to see the opportunity in every fellow teacher. If I feel the need for a Bible study of my peers, remind me of all the opportunities offered each and every day at the wonderful church you’ve put me in. Give me an “altitudinal” change! I pray these things, in Your name…Amen.

So I’m challenging myself. I don’t want to let the enemy ever win by letting myself be discouraged. I refuse to let him allow me to think that “someone else can do it”…”you deserve a break”…”you aren’t cut out for this”. I’m in this for the long haul. There will always be children who need a teacher that loves them. God cannot call anyone to an area of ministry with children lightly. There is nothing more precious to God than a child. How can I think any less. I’m prayin’ for an “altitudinal” change. I’m gonna have to pray for it daily! But down on my knees I can see that I can do it!

Earlier I asked why our church is short on workers. Is it because we don’t have enough trained people? No. Is it because everyone has far to many commitments to their own families? No. Is it because God doesn’t want the children ministered to? Absolutely NOT. Maybe it’s because the Christians are to afraid to leave their “comfort zone”. Maybe it’s because they really don’t realize the need. But just perhaps, it’s because there aren’t enough people lookin’ for an “altitudinal” change.

Denise Portis
©2006 Hearing Loss Diary

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