Wednesday. The day before Thanksgiving. Off from school because of jury duty, but they rescheduled, so I'm grading essays. Some random sound outside my study window made me raise the blind (closed due to earlier morning glare), and revealed a gorgeous fall day, a few wispy clouds to accent the blue sky, colorful liquid amber leaves. Life is good. God is good. I'm...thankful.
I put that paragraph on Facebook this past week, and it generated a surprising response. So, after some pondering, I thought I’d explore the concept.
That Wednesday wasn’t all joy. Losing a day’s pay for jury duty, along with having to drive 40 miles to the court despite the rescheduling, doesn’t help the bank balance. Having 150 essays to grade doesn’t typically fill me with glee. Spending a gorgeous fall day cooped inside doesn’t thrill me like jumping on the Honda and taking off.
Even so, life is good. I enjoy the rhythms of varying activities, and there’s a time even for grading papers. But sometimes the brutal pace of life loses that rhythm. The ability to produce, to do work, brings pleasure, but we often get stuck in unsatisfying and required tasks that bring more frustration than joy. And even the beauty of the world, with that blue sky, wispy clouds and colored leaves, can be uglified by both natural disasters and the work of mankind.
Yet I’m thankful for all of it, because God is good. All the good aspects of life come from his design, his gift to us. When life falls apart, due to living in a fallen world that’s departed from his plan, he redeems it by his presence and transcendence. Not that I masochistically rejoice in the bad, but I can see through the pain to his presence and work. Does that make sense?
Kick Starting the Discussion
How easy is it for you to be driven by circumstances, where good happenings bring happiness and bad happenings kill the happiness? Is this a spiritual issue? In what way? How can you cultivate the art of thankfulness at all times?