I’m not really into the whole idea of “the Thanksgiving challenge”, as I call it. I’m sure you’re familiar with the idea: every day, from the first of November through Thanksgiving, it’s become popular to challenge one another to name something we’re thankful for. Sometimes, it doesn’t even involve other people; it’s a challenge we issue to our own hearts. Either way, it leads to a lot of Facebook posts, tweets, and other such things.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against the heart of this kind of challenge. In fact, I think it’s great to issue a call to gratitude, especially among Christians. I just get weary of the posts of people who have decided to “accept the challenge”, because it’s the trendy thing to do, and then end up fishing, by the fourth or fifth day, for shallow “gratitude” simply because they don’t want to be the first one to give in to defeat. Personally, I try to keep a daily journal of gratitude, with 3-5 things a day. I don’t always stay on top of that, but it’s a good habit to be in. Besides that, research has found a laundry list of benefits for people who make a conscious effort to write down things that they’re thankful for. I just don’t like the idea of making it into a “holiday tradition”. I think it should be a year-round thing, even when it’s not something that everyone is sharing.
I’ve always struggled, a little, with the idea of the Thanksgiving holiday. I understand that it has a lot more to do with the history of our nation than it does with a particular attitude. But there is a definite focus, during the month of November, on having an attitude of gratitude. Again, I think this is a great thing! As someone who struggles with balance, though, there is a very real temptation, for me, to slap on the “season” label and let the attitude be part of it, much like the traditions and decorations. I want to make the attitude fit into the season, instead of letting the season come out of the attitude. My natural response is to resent the traditions, which can sometimes ring hollow, and instead refuse to associate the practices I value with the actual holiday that people use.
November began, a few weeks ago, without the idea of the “challenge” really coming up much. Or so I thought. Then I went to my Wednesday night ladies’ Bible study. Our pastor’s wife, who leads the study, told us, that first week, what we would be studying for the month:Psalms, highlighting a focus on gratitude. And she offered up: The Challenge! Instead of one thing every day, we were challenged to physically write down (or at least make an electronic note) of five things from each day.
I’m not going to post everything and everyone’s buisiness here on my blog, but I wanted to share the challenge that the Lord has been laying on my heart for the last few days. It’s not my words, and it’s a simple, basic cause-and-effect observation. But David could write!
Psalm 13:6 – “I will sing unto the Lord, because He hath dealt bountifully with me.”
The idea David was trying to convey here, probably, is one of having such joy that we just can’t contain it anymore. David was so blessed by God’s lovingkindness toward him that he just had to sing! My challenge for you is a much simpler one. Just two questions, directly related to the quote. 1) Has He? and 2) Will You?
It’s not much. But it’s one of the ways He’s been challenging me, this week. Have a blessed day tomorrow. 🙂