Patience has never been one of my natural virtues. My preferred mode of operation is to set my eyes on a goal and start moving that direction—as quickly as possible.
In part, I believe this drive in the hearts of leaders is a God-given gift. It keeps us challenged, and it helps us to motivate others.
But there’s a downside to it as well. Sometimes we chug so fast that we fail to pause to give thanks. It’s as if the train is careening so quickly along that all of our focus and attention is concentrated into just keeping steady in this forward momentum. But we never get to enjoy the scenery…or look back over the distance we’ve covered.
The Thanksgiving holiday is an opportunity to briefly pause the train…and give thanks.
Take a moment to consider what God has done in your life over the past year. Has He drawn you closer to Him? Has He taught you new truths? Has He answered prayer? Provided for your needs? Strengthened your faith?
Then think of how God has worked in your family. Has He brought you closer together? Strengthened your marriage? Helped you develop connections with your children? Added new family members? Taken some Home? Brought you safely through transitions?
Now think of how God has involved you in ministry. Has He provided new ministry opportunities? Allowed you to see some fruit for your effort? Blessed your church’s outreach? Given you “divine appointments” in unexpected opportunities to witness? Used you in the life of a new Christian? Let you pray for needs in your church family? Brought spiritual growth into the lives of those you serve?
We could continue this exercise in every area—friendships, extended family, occupation, hobbies, etc. And I challenge you to do it.
Just pause for a few minutes this week and reflect. It has often been said that “thinkfulness is thankfulness.” And it’s true.
I’m all about haste when it comes to our Lord’s business, but if we go so fast that we can’t regularly pause to give thanks, we will run out of fuel to move forward.
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.—1 Chronicles 16:34