Are you Thankful?
Every year, I do this thing with the residents where I ask them to call out what they are thankful for, and every year, I am amazed that they don’t know what to say. After I give them a few ideas they will offer “health,” “family” or “a place to live.” Those are so important! A week or so ago, one man said, “I’m thankful for my two good legs and a healthy stomach!” Actually, at every meeting all year long, I encourage them to be thankful.
Well, then I tell them my list of things that we often forget, like these:
- Water…from the faucet and in the shower (so many around the world do not have water!)
- My garage and my garage door opener…I’ve never had one before but I’m lovin’ it now, especially when it’s raining, sleeting or snowing!
- My bed…every night when I climb into it, I say, “Oh, Lord, thank You so much for my bed!” I am aware that many do not have a nice bed and a nice bedroom.
- My car…very often when I am driving along, I tell the Lord how grateful I am for the amazing car He provided for me in 2009. (It now has 280,000 miles on it and rides much like a new car!)
- The 32 stairs in my house!...I am quite aware that they are helping to keep me in shape!
- Air conditioning and heat in my car…sometimes I just thank the Lord for the inventive person who came up with it!
My goal is to be like Habakkuk:
“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes
on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep
in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Thankfulness...Old Folk Should Not Forget
One of the lists in the Bible outlining how it will be in the last days includes "unthankful" along with traitors and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. That is very interesting. It becomes more obvious every day. When I read that, I decided to work at being thankful and showing it!
Often, I'll just stop in the middle of everything and ask the old folk what they are thankful for. You can count on these: family, friends, food and shelter! Then I urge them to think outside the box and tell me some things, perhaps in that very room, for which they should be thankful. Utter silence!
So I prime them a little and remind them of electricity so that we have lights to see the songbooks. I remind them of heat. I tell them how thankful I am for the person who invented air conditioning. I tell them some stories about our family when we didn't have air conditioning in our cars. Ah, they remember that, too.
The old folk need to do some concentrated thinking and thanking! They are often in a complaining frame of mind because of the food or their next door neighbor or lack of activities planned for them. If you have a whiteboard or some other way to list what they call out in answer to your question, that is the best!
Thankfulness promotes physical and emotional health! Singing songs about all that God has done for us cause actual physical changes in our bodies! To God be the glory!