It is Thanksgiving week, and most people are turning their thoughts towards things they are thankful for. My question, though, is this: Why is it that we are only focusing on being thankful for one day or one week out of the year? Our pastor has addressed the issue of being thankful in all things (and therefore having the right attitude) over the past two weeks. This is an area that God had been pricking our hearts in to begin with, and, with Pastor's input, the pricks have gotten a little stronger. I find it fascinating that I can pick out ungratefulness or general attitudes of cynicism in others, but so often don't see or hear my own. That is, until my children - you know, the same kind of mini recorders you might have in your own home - open their mouths. How can I expect my kids to have the right attitude when they hear me being ungrateful or cynical? No, things do not always go my way, but what happened to being thankful in all things? Hmm... Ouch.
The Girl has been getting growing pains lately, and while I feel very bad for her - I experienced them myself very often when I was younger - I am also reminded that as adults, we still get them. It is not fun to hear your pastor speak and "hit the nail on the head" two Sundays in a row. I am not overly fond of wanting to squirm in church. It is not overly fun knowing that the pricking I feel in my soul is the work of God, growing me, and requiring more of me. Despite the discomfort, with all of my heart I want to be more and more Christlike every day. So I will take the pricking, and I will surrender to my Lord, and I will grow. Retraining is in order, and I will follow the advice of Paul in Philippians 4:
"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again - rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. 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." Phil 4:4-8, NLT
"Grumble and Complain" are not part of the instructions there. Instead, I think that the above verses are at least part of the picture of the Fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 NLT says,
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience (NIV reads longsuffering) [I'm not being very patient - or longsuffering - if I can't be thankful], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"
This week, as everyone around us is focusing on being thankful, we will begin retraining ourselves in our home. Becoming more thankful and longsuffering in our own lives, and passing it on to our children.