We Can’t Control All Situations But We Can Control Our Reaction to Them

You can’t always control the situations around you but you can control your reactions to them. You determine what you think, so think good things. – Kenneth Copeland Ministries –

My dad was a veteran of many years as a mail carrier for the US Postal Service. His work day was often 4:00 am to Noon which left time for many part time jobs. Among other things, he painted houses, was a landscape gardener and was the part-time janitor at the church and school. This lesson came while I “helped” him clean the school. This particular time was when I was in the fifth grade. I was “helping” clean the boys’ bathroom; a large, open area, marble tiled floor, with the assorted necessities. You may remember the marble floors that were common in the 50’s and you may remember the intricacies of operating a buffer; push down when you wanted it to go and pull up when you wanted it to stop. Being a fifth-grader, the up and down thing periodically escaped me.

This particular day dad had the buffer poised and ready to go and stepped out in the hall for a minute. On cue, I started the buffer and had the up and down thing going well for a while. Then, just as dad came back into the room, the up and down thing did escape me. The buffer took off and the more it got away from me, the more I pushed down which is exactly the opposite from what I should have done. Well, the buffer darted forward into one of the open stalls, took a wicked left, wiped out the porcelain throne, and sent a mini Old Faithful shooting toward the ceiling. My first instinct was to drop the buffer and run. Just then it stopped. Dad had pulled the plug. Then he reached in and turned off the water supply. The closeness of the water supply suggested to me that this may have happened before.

There was no cursing or swearing which my dad wouldn’t have done even if we weren’t in a Catholic school. He simply said, “I’m glad one of us remained calm. You could have been electrocuted.” There it was. He couldn’t control the situation, but he could control his reaction to it. Oh, trust me, a, “this punishment is going to hurt me more than you,” remained a definite possibility but it was not evident at that moment.

When I’m asked how I’m handling all of this, I know I can only control my reaction with minimal worry, and a prayer to tell God what I need, and prayer to thank God for all of the good he has done in my life (Sue, our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchild,our siblings and our many other relatives and friends) and to focus on all that is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable and things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians).

Stay strong and keep on keeping on!