Wednesday, November 25, 2015

An Attitude of Gratitude


  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It's hard to believe that it's that time of year again. I can attest to the fact that the older I get, the faster the time seems to fly. Last Sunday I was watching Dr. Charles Stanley on TV. He's a preacher who has a program on every Sunday on TBN. I really like what he has to say. Because Thanksgiving was just around the corner, he spoke about gratitude, and how Thanksgiving has become more of holiday revolving around food, football and shopping, and much less about acknowledging God and his goodness to us. When I went to church later, our pastor also spoke about gratitude and giving thanks, and being thankful even for those people or circumstances that don't seem be what we would consider good things in our lives. Many years ago, when I left the farm where we had lived for ten long years, I had mentioned to one of my friends, who happened to be an elder, that I hoped to be able to go halibut fishing with him again, even though I wasn't part of the community any more. I was told that he only took members of the community and I wouldn't be able to take part in the halibut fishery with him. I was devastated, and a little angry. As it turned out, I was able to acquire my own boat and fished during some years that qualified me for halibut quota. That quota has been worth tens of thousands of dollars over the years, but I wouldn't have it if I had just remained a crew hand. God knew all that in advance. To me it looked like a raw deal initially, but it turned out to be a great blessing. The moral of the story is just what the apostle Paul mentioned, give thanks for ALL things. Even that which doesn't look good at the time.  By the way, he wrote those words while in chains in a Roman prison.When I came in to my office today, I started sorting through some papers and I saw a note I had written. I had copied it off of something, I don't recall what right now. Anyway, the note says- What if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday?  I know one thing, I sure wouldn't have to worry about all the clutter around the house. Would I have my wife though, or my kids? What about my good friends? The abundance of food that I enjoy every day wouldn't be here. My house, my work, my health, they'd all be gone. I'm an expert at bitching and complaining. There's no end to the things that get me upset- the weather, the boneheads running this city, state, country; the neighbors, prices at the store, things that don't work; good Lord I could write for the rest of the day and still not be done; but what if I instead turned it around and thanked God for the weather, and the neighbors, and our leaders. We're supposed to be praying for those over us- politicians, bosses, teachers. What if we did that? What if we thanked God for the president and asked the Lord to give him integrity and wisdom? Frankly, I can't stand the guy, but being angry won't change him, prayer will. We have major issues in  our lives today. Health issues, family issues, terrorism issues, job issues. Let's not get overwhelmed with all that's wrong in the world, but lets thank God for all that's right.  I know that God is far above us in all things, but there are some similarities between man and God as well, one being that we're more apt to do things for someone who appreciates what we've done than someone who only complains. In any event,  I hope that tomorrow as you sit down to your holiday feast, before the football games or a trip to the store for some Black Friday shopping, you'll remember who makes our very lives possible, and the very many blessings we all enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving!

4 comments:

  1. Hi Camille, thanks for commenting. I hope your Thanksgiving was a blessed one.

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  2. Great blog dad. Very good reminder to be Thankful. Love you.

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  3. Hi Camille- thanks. I most certainly need reminded multiple times a day. It's so easy to get caught up in the negative that we forget our blessings. Love you too.

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