Wednesday, 21 October 2020 10:35

How we react governs how we act

Written by  Farmers’ Chaplain, Colin Miller
Farmers’ Chaplain, Colin Miller. Farmers’ Chaplain, Colin Miller.

OPINION: From my quotes file, here is one that I have rather sadly seen lived out up close and personal, too many times to recall.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how I react to it.”

I accept there could be some leeway to debate the 10% and 90% thing, maybe 20% and 80%. But the fact still remains there is certainly much truth packed into these few words.

For starters, all of us make mistakes. We all “suffer” from the condition I call humanness. Human beings make mistakes and plenty of them; we all do.

To illustrate, I have what many would consider to be an impeccable driving record. As I have three licenses, I have clocked up some serious miles over more than five decades. My good record is certainly not because I have never made any errors of judgement, or any rather mindless mistakes – far from it! To date, my errors of judgement and common mindless mistakes have not been too costly, for me or for any other road users.

Of course, how we react or respond to our mistakes is crucial. They are great learning opportunities for some folk, but yet another opportunity for many to simply blame someone else.

Added to this, life can throw up some nasty stuff in your face from time to time. The unplanned, the unexpected, the nightmare stuff we never thought would hit us.

Relationship betrayal and breakdown, financial loss and hopelessness, or perhaps a totally unexpected medical diagnosis.

And the list goes on…and on. The storms of life, with the occasional tsunami thrown in. Yes, stuff happens to humans!

Wisdom will help us avoid some dramas. It’s true, sometimes things can just be the result of our own foolishness. To illustrate, when you continually spend more than you earn, for sure “the fat will hit the fan” at some point. Wisdom will try to instruct you to curb the shopping. But if you refuse to heed wisdom’s voice, you will reap what you sow.

Back to our quote: It really is quite something to see this lived out in people’s lives. Being pastors for more than three decades, we got to walk with people through some pretty ugly and just plain horrible stuff!

One person can get quite bitter, while another comes through the same experience better. Not bitter, but better! Another can forgive and move forward very healthily, while someone else gets consumed and eaten-up by hatred.

You can see the very different reactions and responses with family members too, even with twins. They have pretty much experienced the same stuff but responded very differently. A healthy result verses an unhealthy one.

Now, obviously I am writing this before Saturday 17, to meet my deadline. If the polls happen to be correct, then my guess is many in the rural sector will see the elections outcome as yet another punch in the guts. Hopefully, I am wrong, and will be very happy to be so, if the farming sector gets a good outcome.

Back to our quote again, stuff happens. That’s the 10%, remember! The real biggie, the 90% is still with you – regardless of who keeps the seats warm in the Beehive!

With the people we have journeyed with over many years, plus with my own dramas personally, I have seen the real positive difference an active faith makes. Also, true friends are worth more than their weight in gold in times like I’ve mentioned above.

And yes, the Lord surely has been a friend like no other.

Take care and God bless.

• To Colin Miller email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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