"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for Thanksgiving

The news this morning of people already camping out in front of stores today annoys me. This holiday may be my most favorite, and it bothers me to see people skipping it by focusing on materialistic pursuits. 

A recent blog post by my friend, Mick Ukleja, shows why developing an attitude of gratitude is good for the soul, especially when it comes to dealing with fear. He asks: 

"Do you find yourself fearing the future? You’re not quite sure what it holds and it scares you just a bit? Are you overwhelmed wondering how it will all turn out? Will you have enough to live on as you plod toward the sunset? These kinds of thoughts become emotional distractions that can immobilize at best, and derail at worst. Is there a remedy for this counter-productive thinking? The answer is YES. There is a solution. It’s called artwork—emotional artwork. And gratitude is at the top of the list" (for more see http://leadershiptraq.com/blog/).

His post made me think about who we are grateful to. For me, it's the Fountainhead of peace--our Creator--the Lord. 

As I reflected on Him this morning, the old song The Love of God came to mind. 

"The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell. It goes beyond the highest star And reaches to the lowest hell; The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win: His erring child He reconciled, and pardoned from his sin."

I do lots of things wrong. This week alone I struggled with speaking harsh words, being critical and judgmental,  wanting my way regardless of what was right or wrong--and that's just to mention a few. But because of God's love, I don't have to struggle with shame or guilt. Jesus Christ died to pay for every sin I ever committed or will commit. He gave me open access to God--the Fountainhead of peace. Day by day Jesus sets me free from shame and guilt, so I can rest in the peace of God. I'm a sinner in love with my Savior.

Because I love Him, I want to be more like him. A young friend told me this morning that she was thankful for me because I'm consistent. What she sees is a characteristic that's been developing over the years, because Christ first loved me. He's the One who gives me that consistency as I make choices consistent with a biblical worldview. The idea that she appreciated that and admires it, makes me want to know Jesus even more. 

This morning I'm grateful for a God that loves us so much He gave us His Son to do what we cannot do. He takes away our sin. As we follow Him, He helps us make choices that set us free from self-destructive lies. And, I'm grateful that He gave our forefathers the wisdom to create a Thanksgiving holiday. It's too bad that those people who focus on shopping today, instead of reflecting on what they're thankful for, are missing out.

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