What You Can Control

Date: February 23, 2014
Location: London, UK

You are completely and utterly in charge of your life, I thought to myself as I gazed at the expanse of land before my tired eyes.

I was weak; I was weary; but in that moment, I had never felt more alive.

There I was, sitting at the very top of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The climb up wasn't too bad at all. The company sure helped. And the view at the top was unbelievable.

I've done a lot of hikes in my short lifetime. I've seen a lot of beautiful views at the top.

Yet there was something about this view in particular that really struck me.
For weeks I've been trying to find the words to describe what was so spectacular about this view. It wasn't necessarily the land, sea, and sky before my eyes. It wasn't necessarily the company (although I absolutely love the friends I hiked with that early February morning in Scotland).

Instead, it was what God was trying to tell me on that hike.

You are completely and utterly in charge of your life.

It's something I've been thinking about for quite some time.

I've seen too many family members, friends, and complete strangers crumble partly because they fail to realize this simple truth: you are completely and utterly in charge of your life.

This was the theme of my hike that morning.

You are in charge.
You are in charge of whether or not you take another step forward.
You are in charge of whether or not you make it to the top of this hike.
And the only thing standing between you and the top is what?
Your attitude.

Your attitude every day - every single morning when you get out of bed - has the potential to make you or break you.

Sure, some people have easier lives than others. Some have to worry about money; some don't. Some have to deal with mental illnesses; others don't. Life is life. People are people. Situations are situations. But after spending eight full weeks in an American homeless shelter two summers ago, living and interacting directly with the poorest in our country...and after spending eight full weeks in Uganda last summer, living and interacting directly with the poorest of the poor in the world...I have realized that life is what your attitudes make it.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

You may not be completely in control of what happens to you. Neither is God, in my opinion (as I believe God knows what will happen but does not plan what will happen; we have free will).

So you are not in control of what happens to you. And God is not either.

BUT, you are in control of your attitudes. You ARE in control of whether or not you choose to lean on Him and rely on His strength to give you the strength you need for yourself.

You are in charge of whether or not you will have a good day today, however you define good.
You are in charge of whether or not you will be successful, however you define success.
You are in charge of whether or not you will have a happy life, however you define happy.

You cannot control many things in this life, but what you can control is your attitude. You can control the way in which you see the world.

You have all the power you need right there in front of you.

Can you imagine how different your life would be if you realized this? Imagine the challenges you would overcome, the things you would accomplish, the happiness you would spread.

It's not too late; you can begin today - right here, in this moment.

Because, after all, every day is a chance to start your life all over again.

***

"Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be filled with fret and anxiety.

Finish everyday and be done with it; you have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in.

Forget them as soon as you can; tomorrow is a new day. Begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

The new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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