An Altitude Problem

A few years ago, a couple of adventurers tried to become the first to circle the globe in a hot air balloon. They took off from St. Louis, Missouri, rose to 24,000 feet, and started eastward across the Atlantic Ocean toward Africa.

The prevailing winds carried the balloonists on a direct course for Libya, which was a big problem. Libya is ruled by a dictator who hates Americans and doesn’t want American balloons flying over his country. There was a pretty good chance that the balloon would be shot down if it crossed Libyan air space.

This brings up another big problem. Hot air balloons aren’t easy to turn. In fact, they can’t be turned at all. They’re at the mercy of the wind.

But they can find different winds. This is done by changing altitude. At a higher or lower altitude, a balloonist can usually find a crosswind blowing in a different direction.

So the quick thinking adventurers started letting hot air out of their balloon and dropped 6,000 feet. At that altitude, they found a wind that was blowing south rather than east. Once they were safely to the south of Libya and its missiles, they heated up the balloon, rose almost 10,000 feet, and caught another wind that was blowing eastward toward their destination.

Where to Take It from Here...
Balloonists are at the mercy of the wind and can go only in the direction that the wind is blowing. Likewise, some people think they are at the mercy of circumstances. “Stuff happens,” they say, “and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

But there is something you can do.

Just as balloonists can change their altitude, so you can change your attitude. And when you change your attitude, you change your direction. You’re no longer at the mercy of circumstances.

Remember what Paul wrote when he was in prison: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4.) Paul wasn’t a prisoner to his circumstances. In his heart, he was free. By changing his attitude, he was able to change the world.


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