Yesterday's post title was "Daily" as a reminder that just as His blessings have no "spare days" so neither should my thanks.
I got into quite a funk last night. I was tired, cold, and came home to a dirty kitchen and no electricity. The words of the quote I'd posted earlier in the day whispered in my head, "not thankful when it pleases me." The thought was convicting, and I realized how susceptible my giving of thanks is to my attitude. As I chose to give thanks in the midst of my grumpiness, I saw my attitude changed by thanks-giving. It was simply a matter of where I chose to focus.
Today I'm conscious of the constant provision God supplies, our daily bread. I've never known hunger or true want, yet so many have. It makes me sad to think how much I take it for granted that I will have enough to eat. Can I ever really appreciate what an incredible blessing this is without going to bed hungry? Or worse, watching my children go hungry?
Our oldest son Josh surprised us by coming home from college yesterday. On his two hour trip home, he came upon a man walking along the highway in the snow and stopped to offer him a ride. The man was surprised that Josh would stop and was very grateful. As they drove, he told him how his car was broken down, he was struggling financially, and his marriage was troubled. Josh listened and drove him to his destination where the man thanked him and said goodbye.
Earlier in the day, Josh had walked almost an hour to where he parks his car off campus. A big part of his walk was over a long, arched bridge where the rain was coming down sideways. Car after car passed, and while he didn't expect anyone to stop and offer a ride, he began to wonder why no one did.
As Josh related his story at breakfast this morning, we talked about why so often people hardly notice, much less help, strangers in need. Could it be that we haven't known the pain of need enough to empathize? We talked about fear too. Even I reacted fearfully when Josh told me he'd picked the man up . . "You shouldn't do that again. It's dangerous." Self-preservation seems to be one of our culture's highest values.
But if He supplies not only my "bread" but everything else I need so consistently, might my responsibility go beyond grateful consumption to generous compassion? As one of this earth's richest citizens, I am blessed to enjoy freedom from want, but I've also been entrusted with the duty to care and the means to impact our world, especially the lives of those in need.
The habit of giving sincere thanks makes me cognizant of blessings I'd otherwise fail to see.
It also reminds me to share.
"I ask Thee for a thoughtful love,
Through constant watching wise,
To meet the glad with joyful smiles,
And to wipe the weeping eyes,
And a heart at leisure from itself,
To soothe and sympathize."
Giving thanks for . .
11. A surprise visit from Josh and his story
12. This . .
13. Followed by this . .
15. Entering the autumn of parenthood and enjoying the harvest
Labels: 1000 gifts, sons, Thirty Days