A temptation that I would not be led into blog-wise is the one that would cause this to become a catalog of complaints, a gazetteer of gripes, a compendium of criticism. Every day, something happens that bugs me, ticks me off, or otherwise annoys me. There’s no shortage of such excuses to whine. What can I say? I’m human.
But, when I think about it, there are just as many reasons to give thanks. Actually, there are a whole lot more. Unfortunately, we tend to take those for granted and dwell on the hassles. That’s a recipe for misery and depression. I know. I’ve spent my time in that purgatory.
So today, let me list a few things I’m thankful for, a partial census of my blessings, if you will.
- I have the greatest wife and kids in the world. Period.
- Though I have MS, it could be a heck of a lot worse. The things I can still do far outnumber those I can’t. I’ve often considered whether God gave me MS in order to focus my ADHD tendencies. My motto used to be, “You can’t do everything. I’ve tried.” Now I don’t have to try anymore.
- Today, I almost had a missed connection with a friend, but we connected at the literal last minute.
- I had a free Chick-fil-A sandwich for lunch and ran into some friends in the process. Cool.
- God is good. All the time.
- I have been given the privilege of serving the people of Haiti. That service has been one of the greatest joys of my life.
- My brother gave me an awesome idea for a new screenplay and it’s practically writing itself. Such fun!
I could go on and on (and on and on… maybe later I will). I’ve heard it said that one could spend 10,000 years giving thanks for a single blade of grass. I’ll probably never confirm that, but I can believe it. (Read Annie Dillard‘s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek for how detailed our gratitude for creation could be.)
Speaking of things that are annoying, I’ll point out a little quirk of mine; one you may have winced at when you looked at the title of this post. The spelling I use when giving thanks is, “thanx”. That’s really dorky, I know. It’s been pointed out as such by my kids. But there is method to my madness and direction to my dorkiness.
Each time I write it, the “X” reminds me that it is to Someone to whom I am thankful. I’m not just tossing my gratitude out into the ether. “X” represents the Greek letter Chi which is standard shorthand for “Christ”. (Hence the perfectly acceptable abbreviation of Xmas.) Being thankful with no one to be thankful to is like the tree falling in the forest. The tree is down, but it made no noise without a receiver. Similarly, thanksgiving merely falls at your feet without a thanks-receiver.
Later this week, back to complaining…
And I’m thankful for you, my friend. Great article. I guess it’s ok to gripe a bit as long as you have balance with thanks and praise. I think of the Psalms and how mixed with complaints (very real ones) and thanks, hope and praise.
Excellent insight, Scott. I never thought about it that way. If David, a man after God’s own heart, can whine and complain, who am I not to? 🙂
Seriously, being open and honest with God is one way we express our love for and trust in Him.
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