Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Empty Thank Yous?

So today, as I woke up twenty minutes before my alarm went off, I was laying in bed praying, and when I got up, I realized something. I do not know how it had never struck me before, at least not quite in this way, but it was a little shocking at first.

I am, by nature, a very ungrateful person.

Even though I say thank you a lot.

It's super easy for me to forget everything I have in pursuance of my goals. Searching for a full-time school counseling job? I'll forget to be happy I substitute teach for two different districts. Feeling sick and achy one day (like today)? I'll forget that only two years ago I was so sick I wasn't able to work full-time. Frustrated and angry at my five-year-old, slow-running-at-times laptop? I'll forget that there are many people who don't even own desktops (something that would be devastating to me as writer). Yeah, #firstworldproblems anyone?

It's so easy for me to forget that, even though I want all these things, I have it pretty good right now. I want to work toward the future, but I can't forget about the present.

And even though I say thank you, and think I'm grateful for what I've got, I've come to realize that often they're empty thank yous.

Because even as I'm saying it, I'm wanting more. Even as I'm thanking God for the breath He's giving me at this moment, I'm wanting that shiny bauble dream to happen.

I don't think it's wrong to work toward goals, or to be super passionate and spend most of your free time on them, as long as we aren't consumed by them to the point of forgetting what God's given us right now.

When reaching our goals turns us bitter against what we have, where we're always searching for what we don't have and finding our lives lacking, that's when it becomes a problem.

When we begin living our lives for our goals, instead of for God, that's when they become a problem.

I have so much be to thankful for. And yet I often forget it, and fret about what I don't have. I want to be more, accomplish more, have more.

But here's the thing: unless we learn to be grateful for what we have now, we will always want more.

Unless we realize that God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it, and that we have so much already, we'll never be satisfied when we reach our goals. It will always be more, more, more...

So I'm trying to be more grateful today. I'm trying to remember that what I've been given, what's been entrusted to me, is quite a bit of awesomeness. If this isn't your struggle, great. But if it is, if you find yourself wishing you had things, endlessly working toward goals that have become gods, please, just stop and think for a minute.

No matter how bad you have it, when you think about it you probably have it pretty good.

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