O.K., it’s time for prayer requests,” I said to the students at the beginning of Friday’s Bible class. Some of the requests made were these:
“I want it to snow so I can go skiing!”
“I want a puppy.”
“I want to be stronger. I want muscles!”
“I want a skateboard.”
“I want my birthday to hurry up and get here!”
“I want to go to Disneyland!”
It seemed like a lot of “I wants.” But on this particular Friday, a boy in the back row raised his hand and turned prayer request time completely around.
“I’m thankful for the sunshine,” he said with a smile.
“Whoa!” I said to the class. “Did you hear what he just said? He’s thankful for something! Shouldn’t we spend equal time saying what we’re thankful for? We’re good at telling God what we want, but too often we forget to tell Him thanks for all the blessings He’s given.”
The next day I tried an experiment. I decided to spend time deliberately looking for things to be thankful for. It’s amazing how a person’s eyes can be opened to the simplest things to be thankful for, when they really look for them.
As I walked through a department store I was thankful for healthy lungs that take me on long hikes.
When my daughter hopped in the car after school and said her favorite line, “Hi, Mom, where are we going?” I was thankful for family, and for ears to hear the voices of those I love.
The list from that day could go on. Maybe sometimes it’s easier to see all that’s wrong with life, and what you’re “unthankful” for—such as getting a poor grade on a quiz, having problems with your parents, being ignored by someone you thought was your friend, getting in trouble at school, being picked on by a bully, or getting laughed at in PE class. But when you take the time to stop and look, there is a lot to be thankful for!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, why not try what I tried? Take a day to deliberately look for things to be thankful for. I bet you’ll find both little and big things. The size doesn’t matter. They’re all gifts. And once you do find them, don’t forget to say “thanks” to the Giver.
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