by Marlesa Ball Greiner
You decide. My boys love it when I say those words to them…at least if we’re talking about where to go eat or what to watch on TV, or a choice between walking the dogs and cleaning up the supper dishes. They love having the power of decision.
So what if God said that to us? Well He does. He tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Pr. 18:28) and we get to decide if we want to walk in the fullness of God’s blessing or in the valley of gloom and doom. As a private airplane pilot, I’ve heard my daddy say at least a hundred thousand times, “your attitude is your altitude.” Nothing could be truer. We get to decide what our outlook will be like each and every day. It’s just that simple.
Attitudes are contagious – good and bad! I have several girlfriends that literally overflow with the joy of the Lord. Can I just say that I LOVE being around them. We can have fun and laugh in the midst of real life. But it’s an intentional choice.
Someone told me just last week that I was a “balloon.” She explained to me that her entire family were strings…you know, the ones that are grounded. The ones that hold people like me, “a balloon,” down. I guess so that we don’t float right on up into the heavenlies from enjoying life to the fullest. I’m a balloon. What a fun analogy. I loved it!
If you practice piano every single day, you’re most likely going to get better. If you practice a good attitude consistently, your outlook on life will greatly improve. On the flipside, if you practice negativity and speak it out over and over, then your outlook will reflect that negativity as well.
A “balloon – like” attitude doesn’t require one to walk around with his or her head in the clouds, oblivious to the evils and misfortunes that are so prevalent in our world. There is great value in being balanced. Just decide to find something good in every topic that comes your way. A sunnier outlook is bound to follow.
I’ll never forget driving home from school with my two boys one beautiful, spring afternoon. Sometimes we would take the back road which took us past a pleasant, well-manicured cemetery. As we passed by on this particular afternoon, I saw a small bull-dozer type tractor with a casket on it, hovering over a huge hole. Obviously the gravesite, even I could tell that. Well I shrieked with excitement and I told my boys that they were about to witness a rarity…possibly even an historical moment. I pulled my car over to the side of the road, jumped out with my hands waving in the air, and ran over to the two men working near the gravesite. I blurted out what seemed to me like an appropriate question, “are y’all exhuming a body?!!!” They looked somewhat perplexed, to say the least, and said, “No ma’am.” “We’re burying one.” Honestly!! It never crossed my mind that they were burying a body…I was just sure they were digging one up! We’ve laughed Be A BalloonBy Marlesa Ball Greiner about that one for years, but I was simply accustomed to looking for life, not death…even in a cemetery.
That example may be a little extreme, but there have been many times when I have had to force myself to find life when there seemed to be only dark circumstances. I had to make the choice to decide to have a good attitude…because that determined my altitude. The best choice isn’t always the easiest, but it’s always the best.
So what do you do if you can barely hold your head up from the heaviness of real life? Well, you have a choice. You can dwell on the hardship and talk about it to everyone that will lend you an ear. (You may find those willing to listen will become fewer and farther between.) Or you can find the tiniest speck of good that might come from whatever is causing your grief or heartache, and begin to dwell on that. Find that tiny blessing and talk about it instead of the hurt. Over time, you will begin to see the things in a whole new light…a light that is shining from walking in life abundantly, the life that God promises us.
So guess what! Today, you decide. You get to choose. You have the power of life and death in the words that you choose. Your attitude is your altitude. And, at least for today, be a balloon!
Marlesa holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Valdosta State University. In 1986, she captured the title of Miss Georgia and went on to be a “Top 10′′ Finalist in the Miss America Pageant, singing Amazing Grace for the national television audience. Following her year of travel as Miss Georgia and ambassador for the State of Georgia, she sang with Disney’s “Voices of Liberty” a cappella singers for two years. She has performed for two U.S. Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan; was a soloist with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra; and has sung for the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, and Atlanta Hawks professional sporting events. Marlesa is still very active in music ministry. Fulfilling not only her passion, but her calling, she has just released her third recording, UNshakeABLE. You can learn more by visiting her website: www.marlesaballgreiner.com. To invite Marlesa to speak at your upcoming women’s conference or special event, contact 419-224-6010 today!
“I know Marlesa personally, and I never cease to be amazed at her vocal range. I know this for a fact…MUSIC IS HER LIFE!” ~Kenny Rogers, Country Music Legend