Friday, November 6, 2015

Fierce Thankfulness

The world and all its expectations and demands swirls us up into the vortex and we get a little lost sometimes, don't we? We look for home through the haze and the craze of all of it but sometimes home is nowhere to be found. Foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head. Sometimes I feel the same, spiritually speaking. I have a pillow and blankets and I am even audaciously blessed with a roof and four walls and yet sometimes weariness drags me down and I feel like there is nowhere that speaks rest unto my soul.

I wonder if maybe I'm looking in the wrong places? I wonder if maybe I'm fighting the wrong battles? The Son of Man had nowhere to lay his weary head and yet he was filled with joy. He had no roof and no pillow and yet he gave and loved and spoke words that brought water to the thirsty.  I am burdened and weary and wonder where in the world my joy has run off to. I think, perhaps, the fight to have a clean house and obedient children and a little time to myself at the end of the day has run me dry. But how, when the Son of Man had next to nothing and next to no one and circumstances far more difficult than those I face on a daily basis, did he yet have joy?  

He had joy because he fought for it. He didn't meet all the expectations or deadlines, and he didn't focus on "finding himself" or "doing what made him happy", in fact he didn't seem to engage in any of the silly or serious endeavors we undertake to become more "whole".  I'm not really even bashing any of that because I do the same and it is a big part of our culture and society but when I look at the life of Jesus it seems that he found joy because he fought for it by living a fiercely thankful life. It is when I lose focus on what truly matters that my heart begins to go off-course and out-of-wack. It is when I begin to focus on what I don't have that my life seems to lose its color and purpose. Thankfulness doesn't come packaged in a pretty box with a bow on top, it has to be fought for. It is not easy to be thankful when things are broken and we are tired. It is not easy to be thankful when our spouse has wounded us deeply and all seems lost. It is not easy to be thankful when our children seem to be spiraling downward and all we can do is watch and pray and love. It is not easy to be thankful when the doctor calls and the news is grim and fear grips our hearts. In this world there will be trouble, says Jesus, and doesn't trouble just seem to come in all at once and destroy everything? But take heart, he continues, for I have overcome the world. We can be thankful for that--even in the midst of the vortex. We can choose thankfulness because thankfulness is the way back to joy. It is a language our heart can use to talk with God when our heart can't think of anything else to say. When we choose thankfulness we destroy hopelessness.

So maybe this season we make that our vow. God, I choose thankfulness to you today. In the midst of circumstances and emotions and all the stuff, thank you that you are God and I am yours. Amen. 


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