However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
I looked in the rearview mirror of time and waved goodbye. Yup…another month had come and gone. I am simply amazed how quickly the days of the calendar have flown by this year. I know the old adage that the older you get the faster time goes by but this is getting ridiculous. I was joking a couple of several months ago on a radio program that I do on the first of every month and wished the audience a, “Merry Christmas” and just like that well it is almost time. In fact, if you go to a store…the decorations are out.
So, before I knew it, October was in the rearview mirror. Some of you who regularly read Grits know that I am a pastor and you might even know that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. I’m not sure who came up with the idea, it was probably Hallmark trying to sell a few more cards, but anyway, “thanks.” This year for whatever reason was a pretty low key event. Like everything else I am sure it had something to do with COVID. I am blessed to serve at a great church so I’m sure it wasn’t on them…in fact, I think it was on me.
The way that I am wired if something doesn’t meet my expectation then I tend to whine (just a little) and shift from grateful to ungrateful. I think this is a carryover from my days as a kid. If the birthday wasn’t exactly perfect, if I didn’t get the Christmas present I had begged Santa for, well, you get the idea. And with ingratitude comes selfishness. Bummer. Now that I am older, much older, I just happen to know the answer to this wart on my soul. The answer is, get ready, wait for it, counting your blessings. Boom!
So the other day when I was thinking about what I saw as a lackluster October, well, I just started counting my blessings. Want the short list? Though you would never ask. Here you go: a homemade raisin pie, a fabulous pumpkin gooey butter cake, a bag full of all kinds of goodies, two dozen donuts from Krispy Kreme (those were delivered to the office to share), a dozen big chocolate chip cookies (also at the office), several cards and a couple of gift cards, pizza…also at the office. Oh and there is meat in my freezer and one of our Sunday school dumped a great card with a generous gift inside. Also, and I’m not sure if this was a pastor thing or just a friend thing, one of my buds at church, who knew I loved historical items, especially from World War II, gave me four slugs that he had dug from a Japanese bunker on Iwo Jima. Holy Moley. And, of course, who could forget a couple of dozen hugs. Sounds like the twelve days of Christmas, doesn’t it?
So do you see the power of gratitude and the power of counting blessings? It is a game changing, in your face ingratitude, overcoming, “shoot that thang” weapon that can change your day or maybe your life. I know I (and probably you too) sometimes feel like God doesn’t deliver like we think He should. You know, we prayed and He not only didn’t deliver what we wanted…He was late in doing it. I know. But if there is a place this gratitude thing works…it is with God.
You see, those Christmases when I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, well, often I got something even better. Oh, and those birthdays, yup, the same. Well, with God He often has something better than we could ever dream about…something so good that we look back and go, “wow.” Paul, the guy who wrote a large part of the New Testament in the Bible, said, “However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” And I think Paul was perfectly right.
So today, as you start the day, or end the day, take the time to do a little blessing counting. Be sure you have your shoes off because you are going to need all your fingers and toes and a few more. Remember, God loves you and He is not one to withhold…He is one to be generous. You can count one Him…He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne