The Real Problem

Dreamer image“Your situation…” a wise person once said to me, “… is never the problem.”

Pregnant pause.

“The problem… “ they continued, “… is your RELATIONSHIP to your situation.”

And for the most part, I agreed with and appreciated this pearl of wisdom when I first heard it.

I mean, how often are we prone to believe that if we can just change something about our situation… by getting a new job, a new spouse, a new haircut, a new hometown, a new car, a new political leader, a new wardrobe, or a new pet… that life will finally be whole, complete and perfect?

I confess I have fallen for that faulty line of reasoning more than once.

And yet, this wise saying – like many wise sayings – has its flaws.

If your situation, for example, involves you being in poverty, being abused, being otherwise exploited, being denied justice, or being trapped in a cycle of addiction, then yes… your situation IS the problem.

You need advocates and empowerment to change that situation.

But for the most part, I am firmly on board with the “change your attitude instead of your situation” wisdom.

True… I may just be trying to steel myself against a potentially MASSIVE disappointment as I watch today’s election results trickle in. I may be preparing to (somehow) take a hopeful, positive relationship to a thoroughly sucky future political situation.

But still… I thought it might be a good time to remind all of us of the amazing power we each hold. Even when things don’t turn out the way we would prefer we each have the power to shape our own outlook on the world.

As it turns out, today is a good day to read and re-read this election day wisdom from that famous first-century political pundit, the Apostle Paul where he reminds us where to keep our focus: “…  because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”(2 Corinthians 4:18, NRSV, emphasis mine).

Happy voting!

Abundant blessings;

10 Responses to “The Real Problem”

  1. 1 Warren Molton
    November 8, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Another good piece of thinking and composition. Thanks.

    Blessings on you both.


  2. December 5, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
    My Featured Blogger this week is the creator of Russellings of the Spirit, now in its 10th year. Russ is a wise, warm, and frequently witty Kansas City pastor whose frankness and transparency make him a relatable communicator to believers and non-believers alike. No topic that can provide a springboard to address the human condition is off-limits.

    Visit, follow, and get real with my friend Russ!

  3. December 6, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    There are times when interpretation carries far more impact than the lesson to be learned. Daily there are situations that warrant the need to read and gain clarity with the writings of Paul. Each day your interpretation of the same passage will bring varied results. What a great Atlas to Life. Very well presented. For most, the key word is “temporary”.

  4. December 8, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    You are so right, Russ. Making a conscious effort to choose our attitude makes a huge difference. “A great attitude becomes a great mood. A great mood becomes a great day. A great day becomes a great year. A great year becomes a great life” (Unknown). But I dare say that only becomes possible when we fix our eyes on what is unseen and eternal–God and his kingdom (2 Corinthians 4:18), just as you’ve highlighted. A thought-provoking post, Russ!

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