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Monday, March 26, 2012

Attitude – The Keys to the Kingdom

Chapter Five
Attitude – The Keys to the Kingdom

One day a traveler was walking along a road on his journey from one village to another. As he walked he noticed a monk tending the ground in the fields beside the road. The monk said "Good day" to the traveler, and the traveler nodded to the monk. The traveler then turned to the monk and said "Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"Not at all," replied the monk.
"I am travelling from the village in the mountains to the village in the valley and I was wondering if you knew what it is like in the village in the valley?"
"Tell me," said the monk, "What was your experience of the village in the mountains?"
"Dreadful," replied the traveler, "to be honest I am glad to be away from there. I found the people most unwelcoming. When I first arrived I was greeted coldly. I was never made to feel part of the village no matter how hard I tried. The villagers keep very much to themselves; they don't take kindly to strangers. So tell me, what can I expect in the village in the valley?"
"I am sorry to tell you," said the monk, "but I think your experience will be much the same there".
The traveler hung his head despondently and walked on.
A while later another traveler was journeying down the same road and he also came upon the monk.
"I'm going to the village in the valley," said the second traveler, "Do you know what it is like?"
"I do," replied the monk "But first tell me - where have you come from?"
"I've come from the village in the mountains."
"And how was that?"
"It was a wonderful experience. I would have stayed if I could but I am committed to travelling on. I felt as though I was a member of the family in the village. The elders gave me much advice, the children laughed and joked with me and people were generally kind and generous. I am sad to have left there. It will always hold special memories for me. And what of the village in the valley?" he asked again.

"I think you will find it much the same" replied the monk, "Good day to you".
"Good day and thank you," the traveler replied, smiled, and journeyed on.
~author unknown

This simple story illuminates the power of our attitudes and how they affect our future circumstances. I can tell you this lesson was true deliverance for me once I learned to apply it with consistency. My life, by no measure I know of, resembled the inspired joy it is today. I had absolutely no concept that my moment to moment and daily attitude played such a profound and indisputable role in my future circumstances. I was, in every sense of the word, operating by default...tossed like a leaf on the breeze by what I perceived to be circumstances utterly beyond my control. This mind set caused me untold amounts of pain, sorrow and regret. I suffered through financial struggles, relationship difficulties, career challenges and depression. That is at least until I began to understand that every circumstance of our lives we draw to ourselves so that we have the opportunity to choose, grow and learn; to learn what exactly? Love. Every day of our “earth school” tenure provides us with all the opportunities we need to become better, happier, more fulfilled and more loving people and that is exactly the condition in which we were meant to live. Let me restate that, you were meant to live an amazing, magical, abundant, creative, joyous life. You are a child of God and the universe, an eternal and infinitely creative soul. Your destiny is pure love because love is ultimately the only force in the universe. All good and positive things are the result of love. All bad and negative things are the result of a lack of love. Just in the same way that darkness is but a lack of light. Darkness is not a force unto itself. It cannot manifest of its own accord. It must, by necessity, have a relationship to the light. All negative thoughts and emotions, anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego…all manifest from a lack of love. On the other outstretched hand, joy, peace, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith are all expressions of love. This is the way of the universe, The Field and God.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil (lack of love) but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.            (1 Corinthians 13:4–8)

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