In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote these amazing words:
“We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last pieces of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of his freedoms is to choose his own attitude in any given set of circumstances—to choose one’s own way.”1
I could not be in greater agreement. We make a choice every waking moment of our lives. When we awaken in the morning, we choose the attitude that will ultimately guide our thoughts and actions through the day. I’m convinced our best attitudes emerge out of a clear understanding of our own identity, a clear sense of our divine mission, and a deep sense of God’s purpose for our lives. That sort of God-honoring attitude encourages us to press on, to focus on the goal, to respond in remarkable ways to life’s most extreme circumstances.
It was that kind of remarkable attitude Paul and Barnabas consistently maintained throughout their missionary journey. The two Antioch-sent servants faced and overcame countless and extreme obstacles with a relentless determination to stay focused on the goal.
We all need a reliable game plan for facing extreme circumstances. The situation that now looms in front of you may be fixable, or it may seem impossible to overcome in your own strength. It might be the result of your own actions, or you may be an innocent victim, caught in the backlash of someone else’s consequences. Whatever the case, we can easily become intimidated, even fearful, and eventually immobile when facing such obstacles. The only way to move beyond that sort of paralyzing stalemate is to learn to accept and trust God’s plan. You release the controls and wait for Him to move. And while you wait, maintain a good attitude.
- Viktor E Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (New York: Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster, 1976).
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.