**Originally posted this 4 months ago… re-posting today in light of recent events. Gratefulness will forever be relevant.**
With three public shootings saturating the news headlines within just a little over 30 days (Colorado movie theater shooting, Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, Empire State building shooting), I am pressed to wonder if those of us who have been graciously excluded from experiencing traumatic and horrific events in our lives, are ever really truly grateful. First-off I’m gonna go ahead and assume we all have a working knowledge of what it means to be grateful. It is when things like this happen that I have to question the authenticity of our gratefulness.
For the most part we don’t expect to leave our homes for work in the morning only to be greeted by a gunman waiting outside the office door to pump several rounds into our bodies. No we don’t expect that, but it sure as hell can happen. So since it didn’t happen yesterday, and it hasn’t happened today, isn’t that reason enough to be truly grateful?
When we send our offspring to school in the morning, we expect them to arrive to school safely via the bus they’re riding on. We don’t expect the bus driver to be intoxicated, or suffering from some other impairment that causes him/her to not be able to drive properly, thus inadvertently causing a fatal accident. No, we don’t expect that either do we? But that too could happen, which is another reason to be truly grateful.
We all claim to be grateful. We wake in the morning and say Thank you Lord for another day of life. (I’m hoping.) Before we crawl into the bed and prepare to slobber on our respective pillowcases, we thank Him again. (I hope.) But what about throughout the day? During the normal hustle and bustle of our daily lives are we thanking Him for the ability to hustle and bustle? I’ll go ahead and put myself out there and say that for a long time I didn’t. I would toss up my routine thank you’s in the a.m., and again in the p.m. Do you give thanks daily?
It was only through my increased faith and study and application of the word to my life, that I came to understand that I needed to give thanks always no matter my present circumstance. Everyday all day I can now be found serving up my thanks and praise for all things. I thank Him for getting my children to school safely. I thank Him for watching over them inside of the school. I thank Him for sending them back home to me safely unharmed or injured. I thank Him for clean water. I thank Him for my bed. I thank Him for sight. I thank Him for everything that we peculiar people take for granted.
You see, its the little things that we ought to be extremely grateful for. It’s easy to be grateful for the big things…but it’s the little things that matter the most. When we fail to express our gratefulness for the small things, we begin to take on a pompous attitude. We expect our children to come back home to us. We expect to open our office doors without staring in the face of danger. We expect clean water to come out of the faucet. Hell, we expect to have water period! We tend to be ungrateful for things that are on our list of expectations. If we expect our lives to be spared from Cancer, or any other incurable disease, how then can we be thankful when we are spared?
In order to be truly grateful we first need to shred our expectations list. Next, we need to discontinue taking things, people, and situations for granted. Because at the end and beginning of each day, it is His mercy and grace that allows us to be kept by Him during the day. So tossing up thanks twice a day isn’t gonna cut it my friends. We should all learn to be better “thanks-givers”, if for no reason but because He deserves it all. If you’re not sure how to say thanks and what exactly you ought to be thankful for, I suggest reading Psalm 136 in its entirety as a start. You’re welcome.
Remember: As long as you have the breath of life in your lungs, it is your duty to be grateful.
Blogger Note: We need to not only continue to pray for the families affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy, but for the nation and our leaders as well.