But can you hold on to positive mindset amidst adversity?
Imagine for a moment that you are a successful attorney. You have a real estate portfolio in the city where you live. You are wealthy. You and your spouse have 4 children, one son and 3 daughters. Life is good. Until it isn’t. At the age of 4, your son dies from a contagious disease. Your family is heartbroken. Shortly thereafter a city-wide fire leaves hundreds of people homeless. Many of your buildings were consumed, and your finances take a huge hit. Despite that, you try to help those worse off than you.
You decide to take a family vacation to Europe, to get away for a while. At the last minute, a business problem arises. You send your family on the cruise without you and tell them you will catch up to them soon. You receive a message about the time they would be arriving in England… There was an accident. A collision. The ship sank quickly. Very few survived. Only your spouse… your daughters are gone.
What would your response be? Personally, I cannot imagine this pain and heartache. You probably have not heard of Horatio Spafford, but this was his story. He lived in Chicago in the late 1800’s. His son died of scarlet fever. His holdings were burned in the Great Chicago Fire. His daughters died in the Atlantic during the shipwreck. Later, he and his wife had more children, and they lost another 4-year-old son to disease. Despite all of this, or rather, because of it, he wrote these words, “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.” That’s the 1st verse of the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul.”
Would that be your attitude? Would you be able to say, “It is well with my soul?”
Despite our emotions, experiences, genetics, and the other people around us, we get to choose our responses. I am going to say that again. We choose our responses. That choice begins with our mindset. If we are unable to experience devastation with all of the appropriate grief surrounding it while maintaining hope, love, peace, and joy then we have a serious mindset problem.
Mindset may be a modern buzzword, but Horatio Spafford shows us that it is not a new concept.