If the only prayer you said was “thank you,” that would be enough.
This isn’t the first year I’ve done this…
During the month of November, I’m trying to log a daily status update on Facebook (usually with a picture) of something or someone that I’m thankful for. I don’t have a list of things or people (though of course family and the like will come to mind.) I go throughout my day, thinking and trying to observe and note the Spirit’s prompting.
For some people, apparently, this is annoying. It’s not my intention, but there you are. There’s a lot of stuff that’s not my cuppa and it shows up on my news feed. My kids aren’t athletes or cheerleaders, and we have cats instead of dogs, yadda yadda. That’s not the point of the exercise. Our lives may be very different, but I want to celebrate with you, worry with you, and laugh with you. It’s the beauty of connection! And of course on Facebook, one can always use that “hide from newsfeed” option… 😉
To others, it’s seen as bragging. (The pop term is “brag booking.”) I guess I get that. But if you know me AT ALL, then, well, you get that I’m pretty straight forward about who I am and how I live out my faith. And really, I don’t get this one either. For instance, on day One, I was thankful for fall colors… So I’m bragging about trees. Clearly.
So… Why do this?
My intent is to take the time our culture DOES NOT to be thankful. To notice the things in my life which are blessings. It’s an exercise in mindfulness. Just last month, I had journaled privately about how I was looking forward to this practice — when I saw my first Christmas commercial 10 days before Halloween! We seem to skip from Halloween to Christmas and forget that whole Thanksgiving thing… unless of course we’re talking about shopping on Thanksgiving evening.
The other main reason I am doing this exercise is because I am frequently a whining, complaining grump. There you are.
Yes, I’m a chaplain. Yes, I’m involved in ministry. And yes, I am a Christian. Far too often, I don’t express thankfulness; I don’t try to see the positive. My public practice of a personal discipline is to help me be a more positive person overall.
It may not be your cuppa, but it’s something I’ve found to be renewing and refreshing to my soul. It’s my plan to be thoughtful, prayerful and grateful. And to let God surprise me as I notice the things that fill my heart with thankfulness.
You’re welcome to join me in this discipline… or to hide my news feed on Facebook. 🙂
1 Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come to God with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise.