“You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Trying to be thankful all day is hard work. I am retraining my brain and my heart – less complaining and griping, more thanking. But I have been grouching to God for so many years that my standard method of communication with Him is to:
- Whine some more, perhaps listing my grievances
- And then say by the way, thanks
I rationalize this by saying “At least I’m talking to Him.” But this doesn’t lead to a very joyful or joy-filled life. So when the complaining thoughts come, I am trying to quickly come up with something about the situation to be thankful for – not always easy. While walking my dog this morning, down the street came a neighbor with 2 unleashed dogs. My first thought was “expletive, I hate when dogs are off leash” and then I was getting ready to say some not nice things to the neighbor. But I remembered that I was trying to be thankful so I turned around and went a different way. I said thank you that the dogs were small and couldn’t reach us quickly, I said thank you that I didn’t yell at my neighbor. I also realized that the different walk was prettier – I hadn’t walked that direction in quite some time.
While headed back home I saw the sun filtering through the trees and it stopped me in my tracks. I took out my phone quickly trying to snap a photo. But the darn telephone pole kept getting in the way. As I took the photo I saw the unexpected beauty – the pole is a cross. Sometimes when we look beyond the surface we find surprising joy. The cross was a horrible way to die, but Jesus’ death on the cross lead to His resurrection and our salvation. What could be more beautiful and surprising than that?