"4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty
One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."
King David, hiding in the wilderness because of those seeking his life, within his lament expresses how to stay balanced
in the middle of it all. When he could have chosen to be miserable, to throw a pity party which everyone would justify,
instead he says he chooses to remember better times, to praise God. He expresses that it is his choice in the midst of
his circumstances to not look at them, at what’s wrong but to look at God instead.
What difference can our attitude make? Apparently, quite a big difference! Wayne Cordeiro in his book Leading on Empty
tells about Michael, a person known for his positive outlook on life. Whenever Michael is asked how he is doing his
usual response is "if I were any better I’d be twins." When questioned by a friend about how he can remain so upbeat
he simply replied, "Each morning I say to myself, 'Michael, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good
mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood.' Each time something bad happens, I say to
myself, 'I can choose to be a victim to this situation and cave in, or I can learn from it and be better. I choose to
learn from it and be better.' Every time someone comes complaining, I say to myself, 'I can choose to accept their
complaining and be deflated, or I can choose to be positive and grow. I choose to be positive and grow.'"
Several years later Michael was involved in a serious accident, having fallen sixty feet from a communications tower.
Eighteen hours of surgery and months of intensive care later he walked out of the hospital with rods in his back. The
friend who had previously asked him how he could stay so positive saw him some time later and asked him how he was doing,
to which he replied: "If I were any better I’d have to be twins! Do you want to see my scars?" He declined but did ask
what went through Michaels’s mind when the accident took place.
"As I lay there on the ground, I remembered I had two choices, I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose
"Weren’t you scared?"
“Yes, but the paramedics were great. They kept telling me that I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the
emergency room, I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors. Then I got really scared. Their eyes said, 'This one
is a dead man.' When I saw that, I knew I needed to take action."
"So what did your do?"
"Well the nurse asked me, 'Are you allergic to anything?'"
"'Yes,' I replied, 'I am.'"
"The doctors and nurses abruptly stopped working on me. They said, 'You are? What are you allergic to?'"
"'Gravity,' I said. Over their laughter, I told them, 'Listen I am choosing to live. So operate on me as if you are
operating on a man who is alive, not a man who is dead.'"
Choices matter. Choosing to live isn’t usually the easy choice but it is the only choice that has life and hope in it.
(Taken from Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro, pgs. 110-111)