This fearsome sevensome, a blend of riders from two local churches, putted a week ago from Temecula up the back way to Big Bear. Yeah, we wandered off on some side roads. But once we reached the big evergreens, relaxation grew. Something about the aroma of pine and cedar and the crispness of mountain air, coupled with the beauty of creation, always soothes my soul.
We lunched at Mountain Munchies before heading down the front route, until…Until the Harley of our lead rider, Bert Esposito, began to sputter, slow down, and soon died. He’d had a problem earlier with the battery, one that a push start would fix. But now he needed a new battery. Bert told us to take off, he’d call AAA, but two of us, Scott Davis and I, said we’d run back into town and pick up a new one. The other 4 headed home, Scott and I did our run, and the 3 of us took off.
Until…San Bernardino traffic on I-215 came to a standstill. Bert led the three of us in splitting lanes, with Scott behind him. I saw Scott do something that not many bikers do. A lot of cars pulled over in their lanes to give us room, and he waved thanks to them. A cool thing to do—to express gratitude.
I sometimes struggle with that—rude drivers get me more annoyed than considerate drivers get me thankful. I want to change that. Yeah, I do wave thanks. But I want to change the bigger picture of how I look at life. Do I want to focus on what frustrates me, what annoys me, or to emphasize the good stuff?
For followers, that’s biblical. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise...Then the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
Have you noticed how focusing on the bad embitters you, an embitterment that reaches beyond that situation? Or how focusing on the good stuff brings a sweet spirit to our souls? Of course, we don’t ignore problems, but we deal with them rather than obsessing over them. So, let’s change by…
Kick Starting the Application
I stole this from our pastor, Steve Redden at Crosspoint Church in Temecula. He could have stolen it from someone else as well. But take the number of years you’ve been alive, and “come up with that number of things, people, events, etc. that you are thankful for.”
You don’t need a separate event from each year, but I’ve divided my life into decades, to be sure to cover it all. I challenge you to do that, re-read your list a couple of times, and try to find one new thing each day to express gratitude on. Notice that “e” word—so say thanks to those who bless you.