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Yan’s words about attitudes reminded me of our visit to Ramsey Elim Community Church last week while we were on holiday. Part of the service involved a prayer walk around the town, stopping at different locations to pray for various needs. Unfamiliar with the area, we were pleased to be in a group which visited a local park and children’s play area!

As we talked and prayed, I felt drawn to two parts of the park. One looked like a well with a vane on top of it. The well was actually a shelter for young people, but its form reminded me of all we have been learning about the water of life and the vane reminded me of God’s promises to bring people to us from the east, west, north and south. (Is 43:5-6)

The other item of play equipment which seemed to me to be profoundly prophetic was an obstacle course:

Children loved this obstacle course and approached it with enthusiasm and vigour. As an adult, I looked at it with very different eyes, seeing challenges and obstacles which looked daunting and induced fear. There, in a nutshell, was the challenge before each one of us. Do we view life as an obstacle course, with insurmountable hurdles and challenges which will always defeat us? Or do we view life as a series of opportunities placed before us by a God who knows us and loves us?

In reminding us of the need to change our attitudes towards God, ourselves and our circumstances, Yan essentially challenged us to understand that the obstacles we face – like Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’ – are actually opportunities for growth. Our attitude really does determine our altitude. I want to soar on eagles’ wings with God. I want to thrive on the opportunities God gives, even if they come clothed in the garb of obstacles. I want to be like those children who were as eager to complete this obstacle course as they were to climb up slides or enjoy the swings in the park. We can do this because God’s grace is indeed sufficient for us.