My son Clayton is finishing up high school graduation right now and has gotten a lot of gifts and a lot of cards and things like that. So he’s spent a ton of time writing thank you notes, and it’s been kind of funny to watch as his mother has been nagging him like, “Hey, did you write a thank you note for this? Did you write a thank you note for that?” One of the things we put in place was, “Hey, don’t cash a check until you’ve written a thank you note. If somebody gave you money, make sure that you write the thank you note.” When you get a lot of gifts, it’s easy to forget or to put it to the side, and time passes and you forget to do it.
And I wonder how much that happens in our own life. And I’m not talking about just writing a thank you note, because that is an art that maybe has been lost, but how often are we forgetting to say thank you for the things that we have?
A couple of years ago our air conditioner went out in the middle of the summer. I’m going to tell you what, I am thankful for air conditioning.
But I’m also thankful for the people that I work with.
I’m thankful for my family.
I’m thankful for my neighbors.
There are so many things to be thankful for, but do we take the time to be full of gratitude? And in this season of stress and higher anxiety, I ran across a scripture that really emphasized this, and something jumped out at me.
This is from Colossians 3:15: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful.” Read that again: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were also called in one body, and be thankful.”
So what we want in our life is peace. We’re like, “God has promised me peace, and I’m in the middle of all this chaos, or I’m in the middle of all this drama, and everything is going on, and I don’t know why I don’t have more peace.” And there’s this little piece tacked onto the end, “And be thankful.” And you have to wonder, are the two related? I think they are.
Our ability to experience more peace actually comes as we are more thankful. So can we stop and realize all the things we have to be thankful for, but not only that, can we create a daily practice in our life of expressing thanks?
I’ve really been working on this over the last quarter, trying to find something every single day and write out what I’m thankful about or people that I’m thankful for, and just writing that down in a meaningful way. I find that as I’m more thankful, guess what? I experience more peace. So if you’re sitting inside of your life and you’re like, “why don’t I have more peace? Why do I have such anxiety? Why do I have such fear?” Maybe the answer just sits in being thankful and being grateful and God links these two things up for us in a beautiful way, and it’s our opportunity to embrace it.
So as always, we come together to experience intentional transformation, intentional spiritual transformation. So your life is good. Maybe you’re just satisfied with how things are going. My question is, how could your life be better? And how would things change if you were more intentional? If you began each day being more thankful for the things that you have?
Just like your mom asked you to write thank you notes when you got a gift, maybe we should just start writing a thank you note every day to God for everything that we have and the people that are around us.