A while back my pondering went to the thought of… “Are you always thankful? No matter the circumstances?” This is an area I think we all struggle with at times…..
During the month of November the focus is upon the Thanksgiving Holiday. So I posted the above question to my Facebook friends and got a variety of responses. One of those mentioned something that I participated in last November and I did again: Each day I posted something I am thankful for.
Doing this caused me to reflect on each day. In general most people take so much of life for granted, but every day really is a unique gift. A bonus to this is that it caused me to become more appreciative of what I do have, where I live and those around me… looking outward is good for a person.
If we don’t know how to appreciative what we do have then why do any of us think that more ‘stuff’ will make it all better?
I think that it is in the good times that we are most likely to take everything for granted and in the hard times the default is to gripe and whine about what we don’t have. The trick to maintaining a balance in life is to remain thankful at all times.
This daily posting also was a good way to launch into the next holiday, Christmas… during December I tried to keep a focus on the Reason for the season, Jesus. Keeping the heart of looking outward a priority. Instead of allowing the comercialization of the holiday keep us bound in the “I want, I need, I have to have” syndrome.
We are in an economy where people of all classes are facing tough times, some have been there before and will come out just fine. Others have never faced it before and may be having to learn a new way to tackle life when ‘Easy Street’ becomes the hard road, again some will come through stronger and possibly better people for having to go through it, and some will lose hope and focus, I pray for these that they find something outside of themselves on which to draw new strength (my true prayer is that they find strength in Christ).
I can say that the habit of looking outward is something that I feel strongly can benefit us, everyday of our life, in everything we do. I was raised in a home where community service was a big part of our family life. As an adult, I haven’t gone the route of being in a ‘service organization’ persay, but rather living a life of service through activities in church and my day to day life. When we quit ‘navel gazing’ (I love this term coined by my Pastor) and we look beyond ourselves then life becomes a lot more interesting and worth getting active in.
So here is my closing thought, finish 2010 with a thankful heart for what you do have, not grieving what you don’t and enter 2011 with the resolve to look outward first, be thankful for what you do have and for the gift of the life you’ve been given… though there are many folks with very little – remember, there are those with nothing at all.
Be blessed and if I don’t get another entry up before Saturday… Happy New Year!