A story is told of an elderly lady. She is sitting patiently in the lobby of an assisted living facility. We all know ladies like her. She is impeccable in every way. Her hair, makeup, clothes, and even her posture is flawless.
Suddenly, her son charges in. He is everything but impeccable. Shirttail untucked; his hair is messed up; his face is beet red. “I do not know what is wrong with this place. They told me your room would be ready at 9:00 a.m. It is not, and no one can tell me when it will be ready!” He turns and storms off in search of answers. The lady does not react to her son and continues to patiently sit.
Six months earlier, her husband had passed away. They had lived their whole lives together. She tried to stay in their family home of over 40 years, but it proved to be more than she could handle. At the urging of her family, she agreed to move into the assisted living facility. Now, she sits patiently waiting to move into an apartment she has never seen, in a building she had not entered until that very morning.
Sometime later her son returns. Still shaking, he says “well, the room will be ready soon. The good news is I had the opportunity to see it. It is painted just like you wanted and has a beautiful reading room for you and a fantastic view of the courtyard. When you see it you are… going… to… love it!”
His mother looked at him smiling and said, “I do not have to see the apartment. I love it already.”
Her son replied, almost shouting, “What are you talking about? How can you love your apartment when you have not even seen it?”
“You do not understand do you?” She replied. “You see, I do not have to see the apartment. I am going to live here the rest of my life, so I have decided to love my apartment and the place where I will live. It is that simple. I have made the decision to love it here.”
This story reflects what I have learned, namely, the longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. The Christian pastor and educator, Charles Swindoll, wrote “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” He goes on to say that attitude is everything and it can make or break a home, a company, and yes, even a church.
We are very close to hiring an interim Priest in Charge. The St. Luke’s community’s attitude towards our new Rector should be one of acceptance, understanding and love. Are things going to change? Maybe, but that should not have any impact on our attitude. Our congregation possesses a remarkable thing – a choice of how we will accept our interim Priest in Charge. That is a choice we will exercise every day.
Be good to each other.
Chuck Johnston, Sr. Warden