It’s true that we often find what we’re looking for. It’s also true that in this inter-connected world, bad news easily finds its way into our lives without us having to search. We are almost force fed negativity which takes us down the slippery slope of unhelpful thinking and we become disgruntled, discouraged, or downcast without knowing how we got there. The world is not really getting worse, but our ability to find out all the bad things happening in the world steadily increases. Thanks to technology, we now, more than ever, have to take captive our thoughts, and be careful about what we allow to enter our hearts and minds.
There is a profound book called One Thousand Gifts. After suffering the loss of a child, the author was challenged to find 1,000 things for which she was thankful. In other words, when the most natural instinct was to dwell on the loss, she looked beyond her suffering, as well as the obvious blessings, to dig deeper into her treasure chest of gifts. In doing so, her entire world view changed. She challenges readers find thanks giving by living in the present and taking stock of life’s simple gifts.
Thanksgiving is a natural time of year to shift our focus from what the media would have us believe, to God’s perspective… which is that He is still good, He is still God, and there are still great things happening in the world every day. I’ve found that when I take a few extra steps to protect my heart, that my outlook quickly changes, even during the most depressed times of my life. It begins by practicing gratitude. Finding one thing, often leads to more, and a list of gifts rapidly grows.
It’s raining outside… I’m thankful for
- the water replenishing the earth
- a warm building
- and the beautiful room where I work
- I’m thankful for a cozy day
- and that it’s a short work week
- I’m thankful I get drink coffee and write
The list is growing…
May you too find an abundant list of gifts that lift your heart and shift your focus.