Inspirational Column: Taking time to focus on a positive attitude

Pastor Pete Van Dyke. Photo by Pat Van Dyke.

By Pastor Pete Van Dyke  
Inspirational Columnist, Canyon Lake Insider  

Many times, we tend to believe that our attitude is determined by what is going on around us or the people whom we encounter. The truth is that we personally determine our own attitude every day.

Our spouse doesn’t choose our attitude. Our children don’t choose our attitude. Our friends don’t choose our attitude. Sometimes, it may be hard to grasp; but even our boss doesn’t choose our attitude. We are the ones that determine how positive or how negative our attitude may be.

Many times, we allow outside influences or circumstances to determine how we are going to go through a day. Often, if things go well, we take the credit and if things don’t go well, we blame someone or something else other than ourselves. 

How can we, in our busy day, focus our thoughts on a positive and enriching attitude?

In the Bible there is a verse that reads, “This is the day that the Lord has made, we (I) will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24)

Being reminded of this basic, yet profound, truth gives us a great focus the moment we awaken. If we realize that each day is a gift, we will desire to treasure the day and live it to the fullest. As the day unfolds, we will not only want to capture the blessings of the day, but also the experiences that will give us opportunities to bless others.

Undoubtedly, we continue to live in a very difficult season with Covid coming at us in all directions. It has been a season like we have never experienced before. It has been a season of uncertainty, illness, death, and isolation. It is very easy to be overwhelmed by the many emotions and experiences brought about by Covid.

As a pastor, I have sat at the bedside of very special people who have passed away due to Covid. I have counseled those who have been overwhelmed by the undesirable changes that Covid has brought into their lives. These are painful, hurtful, and sometimes unexplainable situations.

My heart breaks for those who are going through these difficult times. But, at the same time, I also realize that if I am going to be a source of encouragement and help to others, I need to make sure that I keep my own attitude in check and as a result have an attitude that benefits and blesses others.

Choose a good attitude! Choose a great attitude! Choose an attitude that embraces life and lifts the spirit of others as well as your own.

Pastor Pete Van Dyke is a graduate of Central College, Pella, Iowa. He earned a master’s degree in divinity from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, and has served as a pastor for more than 49 years. Pastor Pete served as the senior pastor at Canyon Lake Community Church for 39 years, the last six as pastor of Congregational Care. Pastor Pete and his wife, the humorous Pat Van Dyke, have resided in Canyon Lake since 1977.


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