Tag Archives: Humor Me

Attitude is Transformed by Understanding

Story of the Day for Friday November 11, 2011

Attitude is Transformed by Understanding

                      My God transforms my darkness into light. 

                                                         Psalm 18:28

 Mark Mayfield, in the book Humor Me, talks of a time he stopped at the dry cleaners on the way to the airport. He needed his shirts, but when he picked them up, one shirt still had a stain and the other was ironed poorly.

Mark began yelling at the owner – claiming his shirts were unacceptable and challenged the owner to tell him what he was going to do about it.

The owner calmly replied, “You’re absolutely right. We’re 100% at fault here.” Then he added, “I know the lady who cleaned these shirts and there is only one thing we can do. We’ll shoot her. It’s my mom and I’m gonna miss her, but we gotta do it.”

The owner’s response was so zany that Mark wasn’t able to stay mad at him. After they laughed about the incident, somehow, Mark’s world didn’t seem quite as dark as it did when he walked into the dry cleaners.


Our disposition is entirely affected by our understanding of what is happening.

For example, if we believe we exist in a random universe – without meaning or purpose – despair is the proper reaction. If life holds no hope, we ought to be depressed.

But, if we believe that God, in some incomprehensible way, is undoing the mess we’ve made of life and is drawing us back into his love, then everything changes. The gloomy darkness fades away.

Jesus was not called light of the world for nothing.


Our attitude to life depends on what we believe is happening.

I read a story, and although I can’t verify its accuracy, it, nevertheless, illustrates my point:

On a non-stop flight from Seattle to Atlanta, the captain announced that there was a medical emergency on board and that they would be making an emergency stop in Denver. As soon as the plane landed, the medical crew came on board. An elderly man was taken off the plane.  The incident took an hour and a half, and the pilot announced that passengers would be missing connecting flights from Atlanta.

Passengers groaned.

Then the captain came back on the intercom: “Ladies and gentlemen, I thought you might be interested to know that the elderly gentleman who was taken off the plane was a Marine in World War II, and was awarded the Medal of Honor.” The pilot continued,  “I realize we’ve all been inconvenienced today. However, this gentleman was a war hero and inconvenienced for four years in order that we might experience the freedoms we enjoy today. I thought you all should know that.”

Immediately, the airplane burst into applause.


Why did the applause drown out the groans at the announcement of the flight delay? Perspective. Attitude is transformed by understanding.

                                          (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Asking is Good Policy

Story of the Day for Wednesday August 31, 2011

Asking is Good Policy

                     Ask, and it will be given to you. seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. 

                                               Matthew 7:7

 Our family was bone weary from driving across the plains. We found a cheesy hotel and asked if they had a nonsmoking room. They assured us they did.

When we entered our room it reeked of cigarette smoke. But, to make things far worse, it smelled like someone had just emptied an aerosol can of heavily-perfumed air freshener in the room.

We soon discovered that it was, indeed, a nonsmoking room because all the ash trays had been turned upside down.

But I’m the meek sort and didn’t go back to the hotel clerk to sort the matter out.


I found an article by Tim Gard, in the book, Humor Me, especially intriguing. Tim is on the road a lot and stays in hotels 200 days a year. He always makes reservations for a non-smoking room.

Yet, often, as he straggles into a hotel late at night, they have given away his non-smoking room.  When this happens, Tim asks for a free upgrade to a nonsmoking suite.

Normally, the hotel clerk tells him, “Our policy doesn’t allow upgrades based on smoking preference.”

To counter this, Tim wrote his own policy book. When he meets with objections, he pulls out his official-looking policy manual, finds the specific policy he needs, and then reads it to the hotel clerk: “If Tim Gard requests and reserves a nonsmoking room at any hotel and that hotel gives his nonsmoking room away prior to his arrival, then that hotel is required, by law, to provide Tim Gard with an upgrade to a nonsmoker suite at no additional cost.”

“It’s my policy,” he tells the clerk,

“Well, that’s not our policy. You need to talk to the manager.”

“Unfortunately,” Tim responds, “my number one policy is: I don’t repeat my policies. Once I’ve said the policy, I’m forbidden to talk about it any more. I’d like to help you, but . . . it’s a policy.”

“Sir, it’s not our policy.”

Tim then demands to be shown the hotel’s policy manual. When they, invariably, fail to produce a manual, he tells them flatly that they’re going to have to go with his.

Tim usually gets upgraded to a suite at no extra charge. Even when he doesn’t, he claims he has a fun time.


Just as I’m afraid to ask for nonsmoking room upgrades, I’m reluctant to ask God for many of the things I desire. Well, it looks like I’m going to have to be bolder. Jesus tells me to ask, to search, to pound on doors.

Franklyn Broude said, “You don’t always get what you ask for, but you never get what you don’t ask for . . . unless it’s contagious!”

                                      (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)