Thursday, April 21, 2011
Thoughts on Thankfulness
I know to be "thankful in all things", but treat it more as a sweeping "thank you" than as a intimate, intentional, specific thank you for the multiple, easily overlooked and daily things that God puts in front of me each and every moment of each and every day. I can honestly say that I do have moments where I am thankful for little things, but a continual, regular state of thanksgiving for all things? No, not even close. I'm too busy nit-picking out what I am not thankful for instead of wrapping up the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the mundane and the glorious. I am expending WaY too much energy trying to extract out what I don't like instead of taking it for the whole, entire gift that God places before me.
For me personally I think that gratitude forces me to look at the good, the happy, the realness of something. When I'm not grateful, I am really negative for the most part and tend to pull out things that are sad, depressing, angering or frustrating to me. I then tend to dwell on those things, ruminate on how they make me feel. When I'm not grateful, I am very self-involved and selfish, and I tend to look at things through the "me" filter. How does it make me feel? How does it affect me? What can I do to change it? How can I make it go away?
By being grateful for things, and especially if I focus on the small, simple and real ways that God shows me His love for me (my kids laughter, my purring kitty wanting to sit on my lap, the unsolicited "I love you" from my hubby), how can I not be taken aback by the sheer volume of His love? If I focus on all of it, how can I not focus on any of it? If I can look at the blessings for the simplicity of what they are instead of waiting for the knock me over the side of my head "miracles", how can I not feel anything by abject love and pure devotion for my Heavenly Father? He delights in using the everyday to delight me, not just the pull out all the stops fireworks show once a year. He wants me to delight in the small of each opportunity of thankfulness, for that is a way to have open communication and communion with Him.