Flying an aircraft of any description is not an easy feat. The pilot has to control the aircraft on multiple axis, the most important of which pertains to the aircraft's attitude, or position in relation to the horizon. In other words, the pilot needs to keep a close eye on the horizon if he is to keep his aircraft flying level with the horizon, not taking a nosedive, or climbing out of the atmosphere! Now for the metaphor...
We all experience highs and lows in our lives. We ride the highs of life with enthusiasm and joy, and often get discouraged or even depressed when our circumstances take a downward trend. However, despite the circumstances (or bad weather) that can throw our 'aircraft' hither and thither, we (as the pilot) have the choice as to how we will respond to the variation in 'weather'.
In other words, we may never have control over our circumstances, but we always have the choice to make those circumstances positive or negative, thus 'correcting the attitude' of our aircraft according to what we know is true – the horizon.
But wait a minute...what happens when we're flying blind, lost in cloud of storming fury, and no matter how hard we try, we can't see the horizon? What happens when life's negative experiences become so overwhelming that we lose all perspective and cannot see the horizon with which to correct our attitude?
As we all know, there are a vast myriad of navigational tools and instruments that pilots use to keep track of the location and orientation of their aircraft in relation to the ground. And chief among these instruments is the 'attitude indicator'. It provides a way to accurately measure orientation of the aircraft in relation to the horizon, and is considered to be the 'primary flight instrument during meteorological conditions' (thanks Wikipedia).
In our weather-plagued circumstances, God's Word becomes our 'primary flight instrument' or 'attitude indicator'.
Through His Word, we can compare the attitude of Christ (eg. Philippians 2:4-6) with ours, and find counsel on how to adjust our attitudes accordingly (Phil. 4:4-8). And I could go on and on about the what I have found in my attitude that needs adjusting, but I know that we are each flying a different course, and we are each dealing with all kinds of trials, tribulations and turbulence.
But as long as we have our 'attitude indicator' with us at all times, we will never lose sight of the horizon and will be able to emerge from the cloud of circumstance safe and sound each time.
While I don't think Winston Churchill was referring to aeronautics at the time, I can safely quote, "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
Blaine Packer is studying a Bachelor of Cross-cultural Ministry at Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies in Launceston, Tasmania.
Blaine Packer's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/blaine-packer.html