During this season when we focus on gratitude – it is easy to spend the rest of the year keeping a close watch on what we don’t have:
I wish I had more money.
I wish my car were nicer.
I wish I was going on a cruise like my friends get to.
I wish things would stop breaking down.
I sure could use one of those Nintendo Classic Systems . . .
Let’s face it, the list is endless. Then there are more serious “wishes”:
I wish he/she were still alive.
I wish I still had a job.
I wish I didn’t have this disease.
I wish I could make things right with that person.
I wish I didn’t feel sad all the time.
I wish I had clean water.
I wish I didn’t go to bed hungry every night.
I wish I knew how to read.
I wish I lived in a place where I didn’t have to worry about my safety.
I wish I knew who my dad is.
You get the idea. We’re all guilty of falling into the trap of focusing, perhaps even craving and obsessing over what we don’t have. We spend mental energy, time, and money acquiring that “thing” that will finally make us happy. We finally get “it”! Yay – now I’m happy and fulfilled!!! Ah . . . it feels good to finally get _______. . . . But wait . . . what’s that I see??? I don’t have a ________. I want one (or however many)! I need one! Got to have one! Okay – what price do I have to pay to get it???
Admit it, we’re all caught in the cycle.
Thousands of years ago, the apostle Paul wrote a remedy for us to bring us back to the basics: “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” . . . If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.”(1 Timothy 6: 6,8)
So . . . we need two things to reach the stage of contentment Paul describes:
- Godliness (an active, thriving relationship with God).
- Food and covering (the basics of life – food, shelter, and a means to get to work).
That prescription helps simplify life. Years ago I heard a preacher say that he wakes up every morning, looks at his ten fingers, and immediately thanks God for ten things to start his day. Try it!
- Thank You for electricity
- Thank You for plumbing
- Thank You for my family
- Thank You I have a job
- Thank You I have rights and freedom . . . .
Contentment and Thankfulness go hand in hand. The more we focus on those two practices, the more happiness, hope, and peace we will have inside. It is my wish that you have a fantastic and blessed Thanksgiving!
However, I sure would like to add to my list of 10 things one of those Nintendo Classic Game systems . . . 🙂
Thanks Dave. Very appropriate for this time of year.
You’re welcome buddy!
What a beautiful reminder of what important in our lives. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and faith. God’s blessings to you and your y.
Thanks Sandee – you’re welcome!