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Posts Tagged ‘deliberate thankfulness’

It was one of life’s “downer” moments. A mix of discouragement and sadness had gotten the upper hand of my morning so I stepped outside. Fortunately for my soul, I walked by a little garden under our English yard lamp and happened to notice some Springtime hope in the form of a hyacinth so small I almost mistook it for a crocus.

Something so small but so vibrantly spelling “life” saved more than my day. It has helped me turn a corner that repeatedly presents this question: Will I view life through the lens of thankfulness or will I allow the hard, harsh and often plaguing sorrows of life rule my mind, my moment-by-moment thoughts and attitudes and, in fact, my life?

Continuing my walk, a fortuitous sense to check our apple trees led me to notice the delicate buds and remind me why lovers settle under the power of their allure.

It dawned on me that life will always offer swirling or straightforward juxtapositions. This little walk happened to be an in-your-face proposition. I could ignore the obvious beauty and promises of April or I could allow them entrance.

I decided to invite in the wonder of Spring. That led to other ongoing deliberate decisions over this past week which has led to a challenge for each of us.

Momentum swings in wars and sports and so it must in our minds and hearts. We must muster up the courage to push our way into the positive by using definitive signs such as beauty to confirm that God ‘s love is worth fighting for and if we allow Him the room, He will push up through the hard ground in our souls like that hyacinth.

The phrase “10,000” was used in hyperbolic way by speakers and writers back when “trillions” were not in the equation. And so it was that when songwriter John Newton penned “Amazing Grace” and wrote, “When we’ve been there 10,000 years,” he was speaking of some eternal measure.

A relatively new song has captured the heart of millions and I believe my early morning walk may have intersected with its essence. It’s called “10,000 Reasons” and it was written by Matt Redman. You must listen to it yourself, but here’s a snippet:

“For all Your goodness, I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my heart to FIND [emphasis mine].”

It is changing my life to become an explorer of God’s goodness, whether or not they coincide with pain.

I used to think “10,000” was an exaggeration by romantic poets, but Charles Wesley was said to have written some 6,000 songs. He must have had a few hyacinths in his garden.

I challenge you to keep a journal. Write as many thankful things as you can think of as quickly and as often as possible. You will soon find yourself scratching out a dozen, then two dozen, then 60 or more.

Lewis Carroll wrote: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” I loved that quote and I decided to change it up: “Why, sometimes, I’ve been thankful for more than sixty things before breakfast.” I actually did it. Sixty thankful items spilled onto my pages within minutes – no exaggeration. I was chasing the tail of 10,000 Reasons!

Life can be like a stubborn yard, overgrown with limitless problems. It is up to us to take all of the beauty we can, uproot the weeds and plant some gardens and apple orchards and soon the momentum will shift to the beautiful and overtake and reduce, with our cooperative diligence, the swirling juxtaposition’s impositions by comparison.

A challenge is a challenge. Image

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