I started this blog a couple of weeks ago. I postponed it so that I could write the lessons I learned from a friend’s funeral. http://thankfulinallthings.com/some-takeaways-that-come-from-funerals/. Little did I know that by postponing this post, I would be given a very different perspective on what I originally set out to share with you.
Keeping your wits about you is a common expression. It means, “to be ready to think quickly in a situation and react to things that you are not expecting”. Recently though I have been thinking about having a “Whatever it takes” attitude. This thought means “More than the efforts, it is the ‘whatever it takes’ attitude, which enables that small, yet critical push to achieve success” Another way of saying this is having the desire to get a little bit better each day takes us to a place we never thought possible. In a blog post, Jodie Berndt described it this way. “To experiencing a life marked by purpose. To living freely and lightly—not straining or striving, but moving to the “unforced rhythms of grace”.
These definitions show that “whatever it takes or “being all in no matter what” do not have to conjure up a negative “win at all costs” mentality. We saw this time and time again during the recent Olympic Games. Watching them taught me something about keeping my WIT’S about me. My hope is you too can learn from my lessons learned from adversity thoughts so you can remain thankful in all things. 😀
Japan hosted the Olympics with Covid cases rising at record rates in Tokyo. Their whatever it takes focus resulted in out of 600,000 Covid test on athletes, coaches, staff, and volunteers they only had 440 positive cases. This allowed the athletes to realize their dreams in what turned out to be a very safe environment. The olympians also taught us that having their WIT’S about them resulted in them being thankful even if it didn’t result in getting the gold. Case in point was Simone Biles who said the bronze on the balance beam means more than the golds she has won because she did what she needed to do to face her fears so that she could compete. Rai Benjamin broke the world record time only to get beat in the 400 meter hurdles? https://www.wsj.com/articles/tokyo-olympics-benjamin-hurdles-world-record-warholm-11627971489 He certainly gave it his all in his preparation and execution to win. There is no doubt that he wanted the gold but walked away with a precious silver knowing he gave it his best. Allyson Felix is another great example of someone who didn’t win but left the track satisfied because she proved to those who said she would not be able to come back after having her baby. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/07/sports/olympics/allyson-felix-olympic-medals.html
God wants us to live a life filled with joy and gratitude. He promises us an abundant life without regret when we submit to Him with a WIT’S trusting in Him mentality. Hebrews 12 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” So how do we begin the have a positive whatever it takes mindset?
1) Pay attention, stay focused on wanting to serve others
2) Listen to those who have been on the journey longer than you.
3) Ask God for strength and wisdom
4) Be determined to do good but have patience
5) Trust God for the outcome.
In the world’s eyes, Sometimes our ‘best’ is not good enough. Like the Olympics, it communicates if you didn’t win a medal you are a loser. Watching the closing ceremonies this morning, I believe nothing can be further from the truth. Athletes marched in to the arena smiling because they knew they had done everything they could which resulted in them being in that moment. Each one of them was applauded as they entered whether they had a medal around their neck or not. That is all God wants from us as well. He applauds and finds great pleasure in us when we love Him with all out hearts, love others as He loves us, and then no matter what the outcome, be grateful for His love and thankful for all things.
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