Last Friday night I wasn’t feeling very thankful. I’d had a pretty long day, and gone straight to my church small group. But being overly-tired and mentally preoccupied meant that I can honestly say I truly understood almost none of the Japanese that was spoken.
It was a little (and by a little I mean really) disheartening.
It happens sometimes.
And so as I walked home, there were a number of thoughts running through my mind, but I wasn’t listing thankfulness amongst them.
And I guess as I lay down to sleep that night, I knew that the reality of a solid rest and undisturbed dreams would banish away much of my frustration, but since then I have also been dwelling on how a lack of thankfulness robs us of so much.
Unthankfulness fixes our gaze on ourselves. Not on God, not on others, and not on the world. It makes us selfish and self-centred with our time and money and heart. It eats us up in comparison, and dissatisfaction and in our pursuit of all the wrong things.
It’s destruction. It’s destructive.
And so today, I want to rebel against my natural inclination for unthankfulness and challenge you to do the same.
Where are you on a scale of one to thankful?
Today. As I rest in this unhurried space, here are some of the things that I am thankful for. In no particular order except that which they enter my mind.
1. I am thankful for country music. Like, right now my playlist consists of a combination of Steve Moakler, Ellie Holcomb, and a few other tunes which I can only define as having enough banjos present to make them distinctly country. And country music makes my heart happy.
2. I am thankful for colourful nail polish and stack rings. Guaranteed to banish winter-feelings.
3. I am thankful that Jesus chased me into the darkness. As Ellie Holcomb sings, ‘You chased us into the dark and Lord we’re grateful… Nothing that we’ve ever done was too much for You to handle on the cross, we’re grateful for Your love’.
4. I am thankful for church. Even when I don’t understand everything that’s being said.
5. I am thankful for friends. Of whom I can guarantee I have some of the best in the world.
6. I am thankful for mikans. (Or tangerines if you live in the UK).
7. I am thankful that blessing isn’t about what God give me but about the fact He promises to always be with me.
8. I am thankful for painting.
9. I am thankful that I get to write this dissertation. Even when the realities of studying Theology and Education and having to write this many words scramble my brain.
10. I am thankful for my family.
11. I am thankful for colourful clothes.
12. I am thankful for headscarves. (Because Sapporo autumn-winds make my hair untameable.)
13. And actual scarves. (Because Sapporo autumn-winds are flipping-cold!)
14. I am thankful for eternal life and eternal promises. Let’s quote some Steve Moakler, ‘When I get to heaven, I won’t be alone, I’ll be with the man with the holes in His hands beside the highest throne…’
15. I am thankful for caramel steamers in all their-hot-milk-and-sugary-goodness.
16. I am thankful for thermos mugs.
17. I am thankful that worship sings us into the Truth.
18. I am thankful to live in this beautiful country of Japan.
19. I am thankful that Christmas is coming.
20. I am thankful that I get to hear the Holy Spirit speak to me. Every moment of every day in a thousand different ways.
I could go on and on and on, being the reality is I have over 10,000 reasons to sing. Always.
God is good and I am always loved.
So are you.
So let’s tip the scale of thankfulness.