Recently I began a gratitude journal. Each day I try to list several new items for which I am grateful. My first personal rule was to never repeat the same person or experience on the list. The second personal rule for this journal was to identify small things that often go unnoticed. During this season, my thanksgivings are usually the obvious: thankfulness for family, friends, salvation, jobs, or God’s provisions. Most certainly, I am grateful for all of those blessing. However, I want to become fully aware of God’s creation, provisions, and relationships that are all around me. I don’t want to take anything for granted.
The apostle Paul encouraged us with these words, “In everything give thanks.” (1 Thes. 5:18) My list yesterday included zippers and those who invented them. Pretty small thing until they don’t work. The zipper is a marvelous invention that improves my quality of life. Think what your life would be like without zippers. Okay, so there would be sweat pants, with pull strings or jeans with buttons. Two more things to be thankful for.
Another item on my list was the smell of cilantro. Go God for making my favorite seasoning. As I smelled the wonderful aroma of this herb and how it changes the flavor of food, I said a prayer of thanksgiving and protection for the laborers who planted and harvested the plant. Farmers have one of the highest rates of injuries in the US. Behind the cilantro leaves I sprinkled on my eggs, are poor farm workers who daily risked their health to bring the smell and flavor to my dinner plate. In 2016, 417 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury. Farmers develop cancer from the pesticides used on their crops. What was first thought to be a small thing, cilantro on my eggs took on much greater significance.
This week I encourage you to identify the small things for which you are grateful. Besides those who prepare your meal, who are the people that make your Thanksgiving meal possible? Notice the hundreds of people who serve us, yet receive little gratitude from others. Express thanks to them.
I am so grateful for each and every gift that comes to Rockbridge. I am mindful of your decision to bless others and to be careful stewards of the resources God has given you. Thanks for your trust in Rockbridge. As we say around here, “You Rock!”
Special Prayer Service, November 20, 10:30 a.m. CT
Rockbridge Seminary will be hosting a prayer service for the people affected by the fires and shootings in California over the past few weeks. Josh Gallagher, pastor of Paradise Alliance Church and one of our recent DMin graduates lost his home in the Northern California’s Camp Fire. Please join us online using the following:
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Meeting ID: 340 976 876
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