Friday, March 9, 2012

Now I Have a Stick

We have probably all heard the phrase: your attitude determines your altitude.
Great truth for life lies in those simple words. And the following story from my family life is a great illustration.

When my son was about 5 years old and we were playing in a park, he was having a blast with a balloon attached to a stick. Young children can get great joy out of the simplest little things. He had a wide grin on his young face and was galloping about the park waving the stick/balloon.

Unfortunately, there was an evil little bush in the park which had grown some thorns on it. You can probably guess what happened next. My son Trevor swung the balloon into the thorns and a loud ‘Pop!” was heard. Bye bye fun stick balloon.
A tear slowly made its way down Trevor’s cheek, and a sad look enveloped his little face. But you could see him struggling with it, and after a minute or two, a wide grin broke out, and he said, “Now I have a stick!” And he continued playing joyfully running all over the park pretending the stick was a sword (typical little boy).

My wife and I have never forgotten this (when he is President one day, we will title his biography “Now I Have a Stick”) story. It reminds us the importance of our attitude over our circumstances. Truly our attitude does determine our attitude. Below I quote a well-known statement by Chuck Swindoll:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do…The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it... we are in charge of our Attitudes.      –Chuck Swindoll

Now, you too can have a stick!


  1. A thought provoking use of analogy and yet simple to understand. Well stated.

  2. How Great... and timely! On my way home from the store I was chatting with God and it was one of those conversations where I actually got something right. I was telling God how I couldn't do something in a certain area of my life and was asking Him to renew my mind whenever I started thinking on what I couldn't do. I knew I could do it through him, but tend to forget to ask for his help and strength.

    Thanks for reminding me I don't need the balloon.

    1. Great point and way of looking at it. Thanks for comment.

  3. A great story (and a great title for a book!), but I wonder if this is more than's a kind of vision. It's more than a mind game, but the ability to see beyond what was to the beauty of what is or might be. Some people's minds just soar. So glad you have a son like that.

    1. He is truly a treasure and his mom and I are thankful daily. He begins seminary next year.