Year after year, around thanksgiving time, I am reminded of all the wonderful blessings that I have been given. I also wish for these blessings to be bestowed on all individuals as they have been given to me.
This time of thankful reflection typically is taken inward to analyze my own shortcomings, goals, and any changes that need to be made in me personally. Then, as a result of looking inward and reflecting, I take a small observation of what circumstances and opportunities are presented to me in order that I might be able to put these new desires into reality and remove the obstacles or barriers that are in my way. And this can be anything from work, personal, or spiritual pursuits. Once I come around to the external and practical steps of how to put this into play I typically am reminded of the trouble or the “new” things going on in our economy that cause for different or unique and possibly additional (and often unnecessary) obstacles.
I personally believe that you and I have a lot to be thankful for regardless of your or my circumstances. And for sure, God doesn’t make circumstances an excuse because he is not a “respector of persons” and gives us just the right amount of grace to take on what he has asked us to face. But, you can’t know the full extent of what you truly have to be thankful for until you observe internally and externally the situations that God has placed you in. And God has placed specific desires in your and my heart but we are only able to live in fullness of this when we are able to put our full energies and efforts toward this outcome. I do not denounce the concept that God will do what he wants, but he also expects us to be responsibly proactive toward His causes, doing what is in the best interest of everyone involved.
The unfortunate part about this is…year after year I am finding that there are more and more things people should get good and angry about or at least moved enough to take action against the wrong. Most people will misunderstand this and blow this out of proportion because our response is the most critical part of this disturbance. If we act irrationally or don’t have the appropriate level of gentleness, repentance, and confession in our own hearts, then it will be out of our own desire to control the situation rather than speak to the best interest of the situation.
I implore you, that as we all have lots to be thankful for, that there is a lot to fight for and all the more reason to be a studier of His word and what it means. God is slowly taking the lifestyle that we have all known and loved out from under our feet because of our disobedience to Him. Example, according to the recent yahoo article, 4 out of 10 people say that marriage is becoming obsolete. As social and moral issues are becoming blurred the only result is that this number will increase. Secondly, kids will either be aborted or will be created out of sexual promiscuity. Third, these will be from two “adults” who have no reason to be committed to each other, no interest in the well-being of their sexual partner but only for their own “happiness” in the moment, and therefore are left with no level of love that is secure and truly fulfilling. And finally, children are being born with no understanding of what having a loving father and mother look like. These realities will and are affecting you and the gospel of Christ’s message. This will affect a greater desire of desperation to have whatever level of control we can get in an attempt to define some sort of security meanwhile being blinded to our own irresponsibilities.
As I see these and many other issues being consumed by Americans in the church and outside of the church, I am more thankful this year than I was last year for the things that are most important. I am thankful for God providing for my needs, for a family who sticks together and fights for God to be ultimate in our lives despite the good or bad circumstances that we find ourselves in. I am thankful for the little things, for friends, and those that care about me enough to keep me accountable to God and to each other…specifically the men’s bible study on Monday nights. Also, the opportunity to be a follower and an ambassador of Christ in the state of desperation that our nation lives in. I am thankful that the opportunity to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors is still available to us, so that we can pursue what God has called us to do with more ease than if these were unavailable. I am thankful for work this year (and possibly for the first time), not as an obligation, but as an opportunity to become a better individual and to challenge myself to improve with people and with myself.