Our ten year-old came home from school recently and said, “Mom! The skating rink is opening this weekend. Can we call friends and invite them to go?”
“Sure,” I answered.
“Can they come home on the bus with us after school?” she asked.
“Ok,” I replied.
“Can we go out for pizza after skating?” she said.
“Good idea,” I answered.
“Can we have a sleepover too? We could bring them home in the morning?” she begged.
“Sorry!” I replied. “We are busy on Saturday. We’ll bring them home after pizza.”
“You never let us do anything fun!” She sighed disappointedly as she walked away.
Thankfulness is so HARD! How many times have I asked for and received many good gifts from God, and yet I want more, just like my daughter. Although her attitude annoyed me it also convicted me of my own greedy and unthankful attitude.
I’m reading Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts”. She encourages her readers to live a life of “radical gratitude,” to slow down and seek Him even in the ordinary and mundane.
I want to possess that kind of gratitude. I want to pass it on to my kids. I want to be grateful for each gift I receive from His hand and be fully satisfied.
I want to do good work while serving others with my time. I want to ponder, pray and help hurting children and families. I want others to see God through my work. I want to serve orphans and advocate for them and their hurting parents. But, I do not want all that I seek on behalf of others or myself to steal joy. I want to seek to focus on the good gifts I receive each day from the hand of the creator.
This quote from Voskamp sums it up for me:
“Why would the world need more anger, more outrage? How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is joy that saves us? Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn’t rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world…… The clouds open when we mouth thanks.” P.58.