It struck me today that I can be far too morose and serious for my own good at times. I tend to become far too concerned about long term issues, like what my career is going to be, and I forget about the stuff going on presently that I can be happy about. There’s certainly a time for being serious and thinking about long term plans, but there’s a problem when fear and worry start to become the dominant emotions associated with those things. I’ve found myself at that point lately, and this morning after praying a pathetic I-hate-Monday-mornings prayer I felt a distinct reminder from God of all the things I could be thankful for. They are as follows:
2. My family – having a family that loves you and supports you no matter what is something that I hope I never take for granted.
3. My friends – I have some of the greatest, most talented friends in the world…I really mean that. I feel honored to know them.
4. My fat beagle Chuck – sure he’s overweight, but I don’t hold that against him. We give him far too many treats for his own good, so it’s really my fault partly. He always listens to me whine about how hard my day was, and he’s always loyal. He never judges or condemns…only sniffs and licks.
5. My library of books – At this point I don’t think I’ll ever catch up on the amount of reading I need/want to do. I have books on my shelves that I haven’t even cracked open yet. But they rest there, waiting for me to turn their pages. I joke that I’m storing up books for the inevitable Fahrenheit 451-esque apocalypse. I’m only half-joking.
6. Food – I never want for a meal. There are millions in the world who go each day without sustenance of any kind, so I should count it all joy as I take a bite of TV dinner.
7. Shelter – I have a home to live in. Granted, it’s my parents’ home…and I want to be self-sufficient and living on my own…but I still have a home. I’m not in a car or under an overpass.
8. Technology – I have a laptop, an Android smartphone, a Kindle, and several video game systems (most of which I never use, I might add). I take all of this junk for granted….and it could all be made useless with one massive power outage.
9. My education – Regardless of what statistics say, it is still a GREAT thing to have a college education. A bachelor’s degree might not mean what it once did, but it’s still a far superior education than many people receive.
10. My job – I have a job. I can’t say I love it….but…I have a job.
This list, of course, is not exhaustive.
With so much negativity in the news, it’s easy to become pessimistic. I fall into this constantly….but then, like today, I begin thinking on the things above. It doesn’t mean the problems magically go away, because they don’t. There are still big issues to deal with. But when I do face them, I can remember this: “But God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7
God is so much greater than any problem I can imagine. And He has given me far more in this life than I can even remember to be thankful for.