THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
Author and pastor, Chuck Swindoll likes to remind people that “life is ten percent what happens to us and ninety percent how respond to it.” To give a concrete example he points to Joni Eareckson Tada, that ten percent of her life is paralysis and ninety percent of her life is her attitude in responding to it day after day. As you might know, Joni suffered a spinal cord injury at age 17, rendering her paralyzed from the neck down. She is now ministering to those with physical challenges and by the grace of God, she leads a fruitful life.
Life isn’t fair. At times we ought to bear the brunt of something done by others. Our first reaction is usually anger and refusal. But life is not ideal; what we wish for may not come true and we are consequently forced to accept the responsibility that is not ours to begin with. That will be the time we are, then, faced with two choices: to continue cursing our predicament and whoever dumped their problem on us or to accept it and to see the good that’s there.
Every day we are faced with these choices: to make the bad parts that ninety percent of our life or to make the good parts that ninety percent of life. So you see, it boils down to how we respond to what life presents us with. Chuck Swindoll quips, “It is response to adversity that becomes the stuff of greatness.” The right response leads to the right attitude and the right attitude, to a better life.
I have visited Lyna in the nursing facility for over a year. Like Joni, she too is confined to a wheelchair and her bed. But, to this day I have never heard her complain. I thought she just didn’t complain to me, so one day I asked her mom. Her mom confirmed; no, Lyna doesn’t complain; instead, she chooses to surrender to the Lord. Being able to move her right hand is that 90 percent of her life.