Monday, September 10, 2012

Gratitude in Everything

Be earnest and unwearied in prayer, being on the alert in it and in your giving of thanks.   --Colossians 4:2 (1912 Weymouth NT)
I have been getting spoken to a lot the past week or so.  Have you had the experience of coming across a concept or thought and you at first just acknowledge it a little bit. Then, it seems like everywhere you turn that same thought or concept is presenting itself to you in all kinds of ways?  From the sides of buses and billboards to internet folk-isms to books and magazines you pick up it becomes like the idea is stalking you.  Perhaps it is?  Perhaps that is God answering a prayer in God's wonderfully backhanded kind of way?

I recently had to move and I've had a very difficult time making the transition.  I tend to like where I'm planted and the uprooting process makes me exceedingly grumpy and unhappy.  So I've been diligently telling God how unhappy all these changes make me.  A couple weeks ago I was channel surfing and came across a program about happiness.  No, not a Hollywood fiction, but a researched and documented scientific kind of program.  One of the assignments to try in that program was to find three things you're grateful for every day for 21 days.  So, I thought I should try that.  Since that decision the idea of having gratitude has been in my face relentlessly everywhere I go.  Like getting what you think is the rarest new car on the planet only to start seeing them at every stop sign, the necessity to be grateful has stalked me.

This morning along comes Paul saying, "Pray always and be vigilant in your giving thanks."  We all can fall victim to taking what we have for granted and finding ourselves on the treadmill of dissatisfaction if we don't have more and more.  Instead of praying ceaselessly for what we lack, perhaps praying by embracing everything God has already given will bring more satisfaction such that what we're lacking seems unnecessary?  I'd encourage you to try and see.  It does seem to work.

God of sea and sky - we thank you for water, food, and shelter; for bodies that work as they should and know that even without some of these that You are God and capable of embracing all our needs.  Give us this day our daily bread and let us be ever thankful.  Amen.  

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