- Storm Clouds Ahead: When Your Attitude Needs a Shift
- Storm Clouds Ahead: How to Prepare for the Storm
Storm Clouds Ahead: When Your Attitude Needs a Shift
by Christine Drews
It had been a long week—heavy and burdensome. It had not all been bad. Afternoon water balloon tosses and Diet Coke/Mentos experiments had provided perspective as I plodded through the harder stuff of life. I had turned down a project at work over deeply held convictions, and I knew it had cost me. At home, relationships were strained over things that were heavy, weighty. I hadn’t had an ounce of alone time in several days, and I was suffocating. I needed to get out.
I planned a Saturday morning bike ride. I set out my bike shorts the night before, because if I didn’t, I knew the pillow would beckon me to stay. I woke early to find it raining. After a sweet but very awake hour in bed, I decided I might as well give it a go between rain showers. A slice of peanut butter toast and half a banana later, I was out the door, ready for therapy.
I rode a new route—a challenging one for me. Whether they were cyclists in full gear or dads out walking the dog, people smiled and waved, all of us happy to be out and about on a rare cool summer morning. Storm clouds were brewing, and I stopped at the top of a hill to snap a picture. My rear view mirror showed a sunny, blue sky. Ahead were the dark clouds. How fitting, I thought, with the weight of the world on my mind: “Blue skies behind, storm clouds ahead. I need to persevere through.” I rode toward home, toward the dark clouds, contemplating how well the analogy matched life.
Then it hit me. I could have turned my bike around and taken the picture the other way: Storm clouds behind, sunny skies ahead. Why had I assumed the worst and let myself be weighed down? Of course, there were storms in my past—even the past week—and surely there would be rumbling clouds in my future, but why was I focusing on them and not on the giggly water balloon fights, Diet Coke bottle rockets, and all the beauty around me? Dozens of people had just smiled and waved at me. Where were they in my picture of life?
God brought Philippians 4:8 to mind: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
When I looked at the verse in my Bible, I chuckled as I read two verses above it: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Would I let myself be burdened by impending dark clouds, or would I instead think on truth and beauty? Would I fret over incoming storms or choose to not be anxious and lay my burdens at Jesus’ feet?
I came home to find the first bloom of a Morning Glory in my garden, and I smiled at my attitude adjustment.
by Christine Drews