At the whack of the tennis ball against the net, our hearts sank. This match determined whether my son and his tennis partner made it to the next level – state – and we just lost the first set.

The second set was closer. We pulled ahead, then tied and eventually won the set in a tiebreaker, which meant a tiebreaker to determine the winner of the match.

I cannot tell you how intense that match was. My son, usually upbeat and positive, was in the dumps. His partner had to talk him off the loser’s ledge, so to speak. And he did! With a changed mindset and sheer determination, they won. The significance of a positive attitude, being willing to do your best no matter the outcome, speaks volumes.

St. Augustine once said, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” The boys were working. The parents were praying. There were even a couple of hail Marys happening on the sidelines too.

Are you pulled in other directions, sometimes even to a dark place? Sometimes to defeat? And sometimes to another vice?

A changed attitude can launch us back into a life of victory.  

Consider Esther’s story.

When Mordecai refused to bow down and worship a government official, he sealed his fate and that of the Jews in every province. He went into the city wailing loudly and bitterly. This caused his loving cousin, Queen Esther, great distress. Mordecai sent word urging her to go to the king and beg for mercy for her people.

Her initial attitude was it can’t be done. The rule was that just approaching the king was illegal and grounds for execution. Unless the king held out his scepter, she would be put to death.  

Mordecai encouraged her – helped her focus on her task – with these words. “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14

Then Esther changed her mindset and got to work. She told Mordecai to gather all Jews and have them fast for her. She and her maids fasted. After that, she went to the king.

Esther did what it took to save her people. Her commitment of “If I perish, I perish” spoke volumes to the Jews in that day and serves to encourage us today.