Monday, April 29, 2002
Now, I'm a passenger on airplanes, not a pilot. And that's a good thing. But I have a lot of friends who are pilots - and they've taught me a lot about my attitude. They tell me that "attitude" is actually a pilots' word. As they've explained it to me, the attitude of your plane has to do with its relationship to the horizon. Other things are variable - terrain, weather, even the pilot's perceptions. But the horizon is the one thing that doesn't move. So you want the nose of your plane properly aligned with that horizon. When it isn't, problems can develop - like friction, for example.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Stabilizing Your Aircraft".
OK! Enough about airplanes. Let's get down to what really matters to you and me today. How's my attitude? How's your attitude? It probably depends on how well you're lined up with the horizon. That's "horizon" as in the God you belong to - the fixed point in the midst of all the variables in your life.
In our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 73, we can literally watch the psalmist's flight going into a tailspin - and then suddenly stabilizing as he corrects his attitude. In the first half of the psalm, the writer says, "My feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold." Later, he says, "All day long I had been plagued; I have been punished every morning." He's feeling like a victim, like he's going down. He's focused on himself, his hurt, his frustrations, his vacillating feelings.
With everything spinning in his cockpit, he finally corrects his downward spiral. Notice the dramatic turnaround - you're about to hear the secret of stabilizing a sinking attitude. In Psalm 73:16, the psalmist says of his struggles, "When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God."
Now listen to his renewed perspective. "When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant...Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart."
How do you pull out of the tailspin that you're in? How do you avoid a tailspin in the first place? Make sure your eyes are focused on the horizon of your anchor relationship with Almighty God. Hope is ultimately a matter of focus - as is hopelessness. When your attitude is focused on anyone or anything other than your awesome Lord, you start to forget the big picture of all the good things you've got and you start to magnify out of proportion the negatives. And as your attitude slips from God-centered alignment, friction starts developing - people and circumstances just start getting to you.
So, in your earliest waking moments of the day, consciously start praising God right away, first thing, for good things that He is and for good things that He's doing. Focus your heart on Jesus as the only One you're doing things for, as the source of your joy, as your reason for living. And aggressively look for Him all over, all through your day. As long as your attitude is lined up with the holy horizon of the God who has your life, your flight will weather any storm and arrive home safely.