“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”
–Henry Ward Beecher
© Tom Gable
In Midland, Michigan we are receiving our first snow in a while. The green grass has been frozen by the winter’s wind and the woods are finally still. I am thoroughly pleased with this winter gift that has been laid upon the earth today. Christmas does not feel right unless snow is on the ground.
As I woke up this morning and saw the snow outside the window, I could not help but be thankful for what I was seeing. I was charmed and delighted about something as insignificant as snow. Upon pondering this for a bit, I realized a personal flaw of my own. It is not that I should not be thankful for the snow, it is that there are several hundred gifts and blessings that are much more significant that I rarely acknowledge – or, for that matter, thank God for.
I wander each day selfishly absorbed in my own mind. Each of my days seems to revolve around these questions : What am I going to do today? What do I want to do today? What will be fun to do today? How can I advance my future today? How can I improve my relationship with God today? (Not saying this is wrong, just another example of selfish thinking).
Reversing this trend is obviously a difficult one as selfish thinking seems to be an innate issue that is not easily rid of. However, there are a few things that I feel need to change immediately. The first and foremost, I need to be thankful for everything that I have been given. I don’t mean that lightly. Too often, people casually throw around statements such as “I am so blessed” and “so thankful” without truly thinking about what they are thankful for ( I am guilty of this as well). God has granted me with many things that I rarely am appreciative of and I need to start acknowledging that.
Secondly, I need to stop thinking about myself all the time. It is a disease that I need to somehow dispose of. I am not quite sure how exactly that is done. Initially, I believe I need to seek opportunities to help others even at my own inconvenience…admittedly, this is truly counterintuitive to my mindset the majority of the time. Extending beyond this, I need to change the way I pray…yes, pray. When I pray I find myself always coming back to myself. I need to start praying for others, the people I know who are lost in life, or the people who are struggling with difficult circumstances. I will also be praying that God grants me a selfless mindset, one that imitates God and prevents me from being so selfish.
Unfortunately, I am not alone in this selfishness as our culture is one where it is thought that individuals should be the god of their own world, in essence, every individual should do what they want and what makes them happy. So if you have happened to read this far, ask yourself if your life revolves around you more than it should. Ponder the many people, objects and places you have to be thankful for…I am convinced you will find there is much you rarely appreciate, I know because I have done the same.