Sunday, November 27, 2016

Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. (Psalm 100:4)

It has been an exceptionally rough year this year. It has been affecting my attitude, and my "spiritual life" if you want to call it that. When a friend suggested that I try practicing gratitude, I wasn't very receptive to the idea. Without realizing it, I had started counting my curses instead of my blessings. Still, the friend challenged me to try for 30 days, each day writing down 3 things for which I'm grateful.

My first few days were fairly surly. They were in the "thanks a lot" category. As I continued day after day, I realized that I had been focusing on negatives -- which had been more common this past year -- while ignoring a lot of good things as if they didn't matter. Everything in my field of vision had looked dark. I was focusing on the things that were going wrong to the point where I couldn't even see the good, even though it was there. The rough season in my life is clearly not finished. But neither is everything 100% dark. And it turns out that a certain amount of my misery was self-inflicted by giving all my focus to worst.

I've come to believe that gratitude is the art of appreciating life. If we don't enjoy the good, what's the point of it? Enjoyment seems incomplete without gratitude. With gratitude, my spiritual life is not completely stuck in dark-night mode. "Bidden or unbidden, God is present." But it was gratitude -- or "thanksgiving" -- that re-opened that door for me. So when I hear Psalm 100 now, I hear it differently. Thanksgiving opens that gate, and praise opens us to God's presence.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. (Psalm 100:4)


Martin LaBar said...

"... gratitude is the art of appreciating life."

Weekend Fisher said...

It's something I want to remember every day.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF