Mind over matter

During one of her physical therapy visits in this sticky-hot summer weather of central Georgia, my wife entered a home without air conditioning. The patient, an older woman, was relaxing on the sofa as Christmas music played in the background.

“Did it work?” I asked. “She said it did, but I couldn’t tell the difference,” my wife replied.

How much control our minds have over physical matters is open to debate. But there is no argument that life deals us both the good and the bad.

Or as Jesus put it: The sun rises on the evil and the good, and the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Sounds like that includes us all.)

Of course, the good and the bad of life are not evenly distributed. The late comic Christian Grady Nutt used to say: “Maturity is learning to play the hand you are dealt.”

I am often amazed at those who display a positive attitude through even the most challenging experiences of life. On the hand, there are those who (as one friend described someone recently) “can find a cloud in every silver lining.”

There is no easy answer to finding the “right attitude” even though we’ve been told to do so all of lives. But part of the answer lies in an awareness of what aspects of our lives we control and which ones we do not.

Today’s forecast is for hot, humid weather, again. And the to-do list calls for mowing the lawn.

Wonder if either of my daughters would loan me her iPod. I’ll pay the 99¢ to download the barking dogs singing “Jingle Bells.”


  1. John,

    You said,

    "Or as Jesus put it: The sun rises on the evil and the good, and the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous."

    Actually, that's not how Jesus put it. Here is how He put it:

    "for he [your Father which is in heaven] maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

    The difference between what Jesus said and what you said that He said is monumental and monumentally effects how we perceive our lot in life. For the "hand you are dealt" in life is dealt by God in His goodness and mercy, whether to the just or to the unjust.

    I point this out because I have often heard Jesus misquoted on this point to justify the false idea that there is something arbitrary about how the rain falls. Actually, Jesus said the exact opposite in the utmost explicit terms.

    Mark Osgatharp
    Wynne, Arkansas

  2. Mark-
    At no point did I suggest otherwise. You'll notice that no quotation marks were used since it was a paraphrase.

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