Tuesday, August 24, 2010

attitude of gratitude

This past weeken at church, the message was all about gratitude. Too often in today's society we feel entitled and therefore have ungrateful hearts. Too often, instead of being thankful for what we have been blessed with, we complain about what we don't have. So I'm trying to practice being thankful this week.

Yesterday, while at work, my computer was acting up. It's rather old and incredibly slow. I seriously have to click on something, go work on something else and then come back to see if it responded. And yesterday it seemed to be worse. So in keeping with the message this weekend, I thanked God for the computer. It may be slow, but at least I had one. And then I proceded to ask God to give me patience since I was growing more impatient by the moment.

As you can imagine, that was a BIG MISTAKE. It seems everything since then has taken two to three times longer than it should. The trip to the bank yesterday took longer. It took longer to get home, which put dinner behind, which put everything else behind. This morning on the way to pick up Kanani and then go to the bank and run the many errands I had before staff meeting, the light took forever and I think it even skipped a cycle! I was undone at that. I threw my hands up in the air and said "Really" knowing that God was somehow mocking me for asking for patience. Then my darling 9 year old son said, "what mom". And feeling completely justified by my attitude I said proudly, "this light is taking forever and I have places to be!" to which he replied, "so does everyone else but they're not complaining". Now I would like to say that I immediately saw how I was wrong and repented on the spot, prayed and had a wonderful teaching time with my son. I'd be lying.

I zipped my mouth closed and just said with my lips tightly shut together, "you're right, sorry". but in my mind all I can think is, how does he know they aren't complaining and i'll be sure to remember this the next time he's complaining about something.

I mean sure, we did have that wonderful teaching moment about five minutes later when i was ready to receive it, but at that moment, every piece of my flesh wanted to stomp my feet because it just wasn't fair, this is what i get for praying for patience. The rest of the day went much the same. I went to the bank where I learned that they had lost my cash deposit from the day before and had to take time to find it before I could send the western union payment for the purse order. Traffic was insane, i was constantly stuck behind someone doing (not even joking or exaggerating) 25 in a 45 mph zone.

Except through the rest of the day, I kept a better attitude. Sure, my nerves were a little on edge thinking about what would be delayed next, but when the delay came, I breathed through and tried to maintain patience and positive attitude. Instead of complaining, I tried to exercise my faith and do thank ups.

It's so easy to just complain and let it be, because it's unfair or its taking too long, or who really needs patience anyway right, things should just be in my timing. Our sinful nature, makes it all too easy to go to that place. But in the words of Casting Crowns "somewhere between who i was and who you're making me, somewhere in the middle you'll find me"

You see, I'm not happy with who I used to be and i'm not happy with somewhere in the middle. A couple of years ago I realized who God wanted me to be and all the work that had to be done in order to get there. Now I know that I won't be complete until His return, but I also know that He doesn't want me to just be happy with who I am right now and sit around waiting for Him. He wants me to be constantly working and growing. And sometimes that means, praying for patience, when your flesh screams, "NO DON'T DO IT! YOU'LL ONLY BE GIVEN SITUATIONS IN WHICH YOU NEED TO BE PATIENT!"

I believe that God will give me the patience I asked for. I believe I'll be tested. I also believe, that whether I ask for patience or not, I'll still be tested, so I might as well ask Him to equip me for it. So today, after my day of problems and impatience. I pray once again for God to equip me with patience. That I would learn, in the middle of circumstances that would cause me to grumble, I would stop and quickly have an attitude of gratitude.

Today I am thankful for my son, who represented God very well today in multiple circumstances that could have caused him to react poorly. I am thankful for my husband, who is a wonderful example of a man and father to our kids. I am thankful for my friends, for my church and leadership staff, I am thankful for my vehicle with air conditioning. It may not be beautiful but its functional. I am thankful for my computer at work. I am thankful for the home we have, God's continued provision. And I'm so very thankful for God's patience with me.

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