Maybe It’s a grATTITUDE Adjustment

(This blog was originally published by Dan Leadbetter on November 24, 2014)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. ~ Psalms 100:4

As we approach Thanksgiving, our thoughts turn to images of Pilgrims, Turkeys, and my personal favorite, Pie. I’m not a pumpkin pie sort of person, more of a banana or chocolate cream kind of guy. And I’m thankful my wife knows this about me. But I digress. One tradition that’s ¬†common practice is to look back over the year and mention the things we are thankful for. Maybe it was a new job, a new addition to your family, or someone getting over an illness. I’ve always been fascinated listening to the things people are thankful for, and love hearing all the different stories of how people were blessed over the last 365 days.

In the past I’ve participated in the recounting of multiple incidents of thankfulness around the table, and I’ve discovered something else. For me, I’ve found my level of daily gratitude has increased over the last few years. You see, I had noticed my cynicism creeping in to a majority of my thoughts, and how that impacted how I was with people and how I related to them. I noticed that when someone did something nice for me, I was more often than not, suspicious. My first thought was, “Well, they had to do that, they didn’t really want to”, or ¬†“Hrm … I wonder what they want from me?”, or worse yet, “Oh great, now I owe them.” Wow … what a horrible way to live!

That’s when I made the change to shift my attitude to one of gratitude. I started looking for the good things and being thankful for the gift they were. Even the little things … like finding good parking spaces at the store. I would always tell my wife, “Look honey, Jesus gave me a good parking spot!” Now, as silly as that sounds, just speaking out the “little thankfuls” has helped me notice more and more how many things I can be grateful for in life. Plus, it re-aligns my perspective to see all that God really has provided. While I’m sure we could have a theological debate on whether or not God really cares where I park, for me, it’s just another reason to thank Him and be grateful for His provision.

So my challenge for you is to begin looking for all the ways God blesses you every day. This could include (but not limited to), finding good parking spots, hearing your favorite song on the radio, that smile from a stranger, the barista spelling your name right on your coffee cup, getting a discount you weren’t expecting, an encouraging word in a letter, email, or text, an unexpected hug, finding a $5 bill in your pocket, and on and on. I believe that if God cares enough about us to know the number of hairs on our head, then he loves us enough to leave us little calling cards of his love every day.

Have a great THANKSgiving.