05 October 2011

Thanksgiving - A Challenge

This morning I was late for my ballet class, and in a desperate way.
Or so I thought.
When I arrived, I found that the previous class had gone late -- a rare occurrence. Therefore I was still technically not late as my class hadn't begun yet.
As I was speed-changing into my practice clothes, it dawned on me that that was God's undeserved grace right there. I didn't deserve this kind of break; it was my fault I'd left my house late in the first place. Why He saw fit to give me that extra few minutes I don't know, and perhaps I never will. But the fact is He gave it to me.
Not long ago, I heard a speaker talking about the perfect holiness and good goodness of God. He talked about how people always say, "Well, if God is so good, why does He let bad stuff happen?"
The speaker said that is entirely the wrong perspective. We as humans are pure evil without Jesus purifying us. The question instead is 'Why should God let anything good happen at all in this world? We sure as heck don't deserve it.'
God gives us a beautiful sunset every night. Why should He allow us to see such beauty? We don't deserve it.
God gives us food and clean water. Why should He allow us even enough to survive, never mind give us excess amounts of it? We don't deserve it.
God gives us the air to breathe and the chest to breathe it. Why should He not only let us live, but Himself be intimately involved in our moment-to-moment survival? We don't deserve it.
God gives us (especially in Canada) warm clothes and blankets on our beds. Why should He allow us to be warm and comfortable? We don't deserve it.
The list goes on.
And this morning an idea struck me. Why not keep track of every instance of God's grace that I see every day, for a period of time? Like the 'counting blessings' thing, but rather than just focusing for ten minutes on a couple of big things (house; bed; food; clothes), let's focus more on the little things. Like the times my laziness should get me into trouble, but it doesn't. Like the fact that God could have withdrawn His hand from around my heart and let it stop two paragraphs ago but He didn't. Like the fact that He hasn't allowed the motor to fall out of my rattletrap vehicle yet even though it probably should have two years ago.
And then I thought, heck, (Canadian) Thanksgiving is right around the corner; this coming Monday to be exact. Perfect.
The thought continued... I should get a bunch of people involved in this.

So I'm going to go out on a proverbial limb here and present a challenge for both you and me.
Throughout the day, as things happen (or don't) by God's grace, write them down (or use the voice recording app on your iPhone, whatever). We'll do this for... let's say two weeks, starting Sunday morning, the ninth of October. At the end of the two weeks (the twenty-second), look back over the lists. If you (and I) want to continue after that, great; but if not, hopefully we all have a greater appreciation of just how much God does for us in our day-to-day lives. If you want to do a blog post detailing every instance you saw or just what you learned from the experience, that would be interesting as well... you can link to it either here in the comments on this post or hopefully I will be publishing another post as sort of a follow-up after two weeks and you can link to it there. I would love to see what God shows you. Note that it's not a requirement that you post about it, but you might enjoy thinking over it all again.
I have to say I'm really looking forward to this. I'm also curious to know who's going to try this along with me... feel free to comment!

(If you're reading this several weeks, months, or even years from now, try it for yourself. Set aside two or three weeks and give it a shot. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences.)

P.S. -- Bonus points if you caught both of the Lecrae references in this post.


Brittney said...

I kind of feel the same way when I'm cranky and tired driving to school in the mornings only to have a chance to watch the sun rise from my car...I've tried to make a habit of noticing life's little blessings, but I've never tried to write them down. I found that there were far too many to do that for...it really does change your outlook though.

Kate said...

This is me trying to establish a habit... unless I make a point of writing down as many as I can I'm not going to look for them at all. That's great to hear you've already got something working for you though. :-)
I thought the same thing -- I'm never going to be able to see them all, never mind write every one down; but hopefully doing this starts a lifelong spirit of thankfulness in me...