“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:18
Happy Thanksgiving! This is truly one of the best times of the year. There’s so much to love and appreciate - the fantastic weather, football, and, of course, the food and family. So, where are you when it comes to being thankful? How can we make the most of this season and model an “attitude of gratitude” to those around us?
ON THE MOUNTAIN
All too often, we find ourselves praying to God for the “big” things in life, such as health and healing, our children’s safety and future, completion of a successful project, or receiving a new job. And, when God comes through, we are so very thankful.
It’s sometimes easier to thank God for the big things because often those desires are beyond our control. We pray. We ask. We beg. We plead. And, when He comes through, we are so grateful. It’s easy to thank God in those brief, peaceful times on the “mountain” - those times when all is right and trouble seems far.
As we slide from the mountain, we are hit with the reality that we don’t live there. Our reality is often a noisy, messy life filled with the mundane, the small, the routine. In that space, thankfulness doesn’t flow as freely.
GRATITUDE IN THE ROUTINE
When you stop to notice, thankfulness doesn’t come only in the great, big, “fancy” things in life, but rather in the small, often unnoticed, details. In those very same small moments of routine that can feel mundane.
Where do we look for moments to cultivate gratitude?
Be thankful for your car instead of complaining about traffic.
Thank God you have food when the meal isn’t your favorite.
Find appreciation for piles of laundry. You have warm clothes to wear and enough to spare.
Be thankful for family and friends, especially when they are not always easy to get along with.
GOD IS IN THE DETAILS
If we look - really look - we’ll find that God is in the details. Our life is more fulfilling when we take the time to notice them, and, even more so, when we express our thanks for these strokes of beauty He so intentionally paints into our lives. As thoughtfully as He intentionally paints them, we must thoughtfully, intentionally thank Him in return.
So, take a moment to consider the small things you are thankful for today. Take the time today, and every day, to thank God for the big and the small. Be thankful for the masterpiece that is your life!
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Steve Kyle is the Assistant Head of School for Christian Life at Mount Paran Christian School.
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