Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beholden, Gratified, Indebted, Obliged...Thankful

I am Thankful.
I am beholden to the God who gives me breath. 
I am indebted to a Savior that has given me so much. 
I am obliged to give what has been given to me.
I am Thankful.

When you look at the definition of the word Thankful, it is amazingly simple for such an important word. It is defined as appreciation or gratitude. 

Are these the words that define you? THEY SHOULD BE. 

Are these the words that define me? Not always.

What should we be Thankful for? Our cars, our homes, our gadgets (and we all got gadgets)? What are the things that we list each Thanksgiving? Are we listing the things that matter? Do we realize the things that we should be most thankful for are the intangibles?
One of the speakers I was listening to this weekend made this comment; "When I was living in Kenya, I had nothing and I was grateful for everything. When I came to the United States I suddenly had everything and felt I was grateful for nothing." This comment impacted me deeply. In this country, world or better yet this time, people are not thankful, for anything. The more we have, the more we want. The more we have, the less we recognize as important. We move through life at the speed of media looking for the next great thing and this thing doesn't have to be an object. It can be a desire to be the next great love story, the next great business woman, the next great whatever, you fill in your blank. It is the idea that something better is out there, I just have to look really hard to find it. 

The question is, "If you are always looking ahead, do you see what surrounds you?"  

I received the sweetest call from my husband on Friday night. He was in the process of putting our boys to bed and they told him they had to have their prayer before they could go to sleep. I do this simple but all encompassing prayer every night before my boys go to sleep. Sometimes I say it with a sigh, as I long for the words to wrap around their tiny hearts and soak into their souls while reaching the ears of God all at the same time. Other nights I say the prayer out of breathless exhaustion and habit. Either way I was pretty sure that they may enjoy the break from mommy hovering over them whispering in their ear, if they missed it at all.  When this request came from my husband, I had never been so absolutely thankful to get to say this prayer over my children. It was in that moment, when I was hours away, with the world swirling around me, that I realized NOTHING was more important than getting to say those few precious words over my boys each and every night. (And they agreed!) People big and small recognize what is in your heart. Is it thankfulness and gratitude or it is a desire for more?

We have to be thankful for the intangibles in life, these are what matter. The intangibles can not be taken away by the challenges of life, the negativity and ugliness of the world can't touch them. They are what give us strength for tomorrow and hope for today. When you hang your heart on the intangibles then no matter where you are, what situation you are struggling through, your heart will be full and in turn your world will be a cheerful, blissful and BLESSED place.

The world around you will be what you make of it.  If you choose to be critical, thankless, unappreciative, ungrateful or unthankful, these will be the things that define you. 

The choice is yours.

The LORD bless you and keep you; May the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24