When I was in New Orleans last year, one day we spent some time with and worked with a group of men that were attempting to recover from addictions (for some reason, I just can't quite come up with the name of the organization - it is right on the tip of my tongue). They lived together in a few low, small buildings next to an abandoned office building and an abandoned hotel. They bunked in pretty tight quarters and lived as a true community - they each had specific job duties each day. It may be cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, being out in the city on a work detail like picking up trash or mowing grass, etc. They generally ate together and they all gathered together in the morning to worship. It had to be a pretty tough place to be. There were upsides - a roof over their head, a place to sleep, support, and chances to get food - but a lot of the city, particularly around them, was pretty depressing, they were trying to beat their addictions, in most cases their loved ones had moved away and the living conditions were far from ideal (no privacy, etc.).
One thing that they did was pretty unique in my experience. At any point in the day, someone could just bark out "ATTITUDE CHECK!" like a Marine drill sergeant, and everyone would respond "PRAISE THE LORD!" If people were getting bogged down, frustrated, bickering about something, or just distracted, someone would yell it out.
Recently I have recognized that I could use an ATTITUDE CHECK from time to time. Sometimes I get caught up in lots of other things and approach something with a bad attitude. Rather than even giving something a chance to turn out well, I decide in advance that it is going to be bad and essentially make it that way. I have a friend who has the most amazing attitude almost all of the time. Sometimes, like everyone, she can be down, but for the most part she is smiling and bubbling and approaches life in such a positive way. I want to try to draw on that and have a better attitude in my approach to a lot of things. So, I am giving myself an ATTITUDE CHECK!
"I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. . . . The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving towards all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down." Psalm 145:1-2; 13-14
As a friend said to me last night - think positive! Or, if you prefer, from Monty Python - "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." If that reference doesn't start you whistling, nothing will.
Have a great weekend!