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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Cannon Inside

Years ago, I heard Rick Atchley in sermon revive a story from the literature of Victor Hugo. A sailing ship is caught in a storm out on the high seas. The waves toss the ship back and forth when, suddenly, the sailors hear this terrible sound coming from beneath the deck. They know immediately what it is. A cannon has broken lose from it's moorings and is rolling back and forth pounding the walls of the ship.

The sailors realize the cannon is much more dangerous than the waves. If someone does not secure it, it will bust a hole in the side of the ship, and they will sink. Two sailors risk their lives and, under great duress, they use their strength and finally secure the cannon.

In life, it's not the high winds nor the waves blowing us around that destroy us. It's what's inside. You cannot always choose when it's going to rain or when there's going to be a storm, but you can choose how you react to that storm.

My fellow staff member, Tim Henderson, often tells people he counsels, “It’s not what happens to you that matters. What matters is how you react to what happens to you.”

I have found in my nearly half a century that one of the most important components in living is one we can absolutely control. This component can be summarized in one word—attitude.

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