“We don’t see the material world for what it is meant to be:
as the means to communion with God.“
~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
It is a struggle of mine—cynicism, sarcasm. I confess it. It’s easy to see the negative, the ugly behind the beautiful. So often I attach words to it, like “real” or “raw.” But the truth is, it’s all just whitewash for the sneaky sin of pride. I am the great ingrate.
I am tired of calling food smelly, calling art “commercialized,” and identifying the most wretched parts of the church. It’s worn me out, I think.
So this month is a self-induced intervention of sorts. It is an attempt to shift from thinking from ingratitude, to gratitude. And in that shift, I’m hoping to learn to trust that the ugly will one day be sorted out by another, that it’s not my job to judge the world.
And I want you to join me.
“The more we are able to see just how many blessing we have been given—given freely and undeserved—the more we will be able to see
God is out for our good. And when that happens, our trust level increases.”
~James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful God
If our days were spent trying to identify every good blessing, the free moments of beauty, would we be so quick to point to the ugly and broken? If we cultivated an appetite for praise, would there be any hunger left for cynicism?
“Perhaps we should try to write down the blessing of one day. We might begin: we could never end; there are not pens or paper enough in all the world. The attempt would remind us of our ‘vast treasure of content.'”
~George Buttrick (as quoted by Smith, supra)
It is no wonder that two books have landed on my bedside table in this season of pilgrim celebration. One I just received. The other I’ve put off for some time. Would you pick up your copies and read along? I think there’s gold in them there hills. I’ve already found a bit.
As this month continues, you’ll hear some stories of gratitude pushing back the darkness, stories from Amber, Kevin, Erika, Abby, and maybe some others. We’ll actively try to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness this month. After all, this is the month of Thanksgiving.
Will you join me this month as we recognized that
Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.