GRATITUDE, WONDER, AND AWE!
Note: We are traveling. So here are my thoughts and travelog!
We are in Abilene State Park. As we have traveled today I have been overwhelmed with the knowledge and feeling that I am extremely blessed. After months of planning and preparations, we are finally on the road. Six weeks of touring in Arizona mostly — seeing some of the sights and speaking at PFLAG — Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — as well as other gatherings. We kept looking at each other and saying, “We are actually on the road and going!”
Being humbled with gratitude leads me to an attitude of prayer. Amidst the gratitude today, I found myself “voicing” prayers in my heart. We had voiced a spoken prayer this morning before leaving, thanking God for this opportunity to travel and speak and asking His blessings and safety in our travels.
Oh, my goodness! Three deer- a doe, a young fawn, and a spike buck have walked up throught the woods and are grazing about twenty yards from where I sit. Thank you, God! Oh, that we might be more atune and thankful for the moments of awe and wonder that come our way at unexpected times and places. We had an armadillo join us for dinner earlier. Certainly not as graceful and lovely a creature as the deer, but one of God’s creatures none the less. We also had several squirrels scampering from tree to tree. Now as the dusk deepens there is a chorus of cicadas in the air. Moments of Wonder and Awe! I am thankful!
Now, back to the discussion of gratitude prior to the arrival of the deer. There was a time today in my thankfulness that this thought fluttered across my consciousness, “Maybe God will bless us on this trip because I am grateful and praying?” I am appalled at times by the thoughts that sometimes flutter across my mind! And this was just such a thought and time. I believe and know that there is neither bargaining nor negotiating with God. God blesses me, all of us, in His wisdom and mercy when and how He sees fit. I am thankful for those blessings. Period! And when life is rolling along and things do not seem so blessed, I will be thankful IN, not for all things. I believe that concept is expressed in I Thessalonians 5:18.
This reminds me of something that I learned many years ago. It is true that we all have random sometimes disgusting, appalling, and unwanted thoughts to flutter across our gray matter. What matters is not that we had the thought, but what we do with it after we have it. Do we dismiss it as a random, unwanted thought and move on to more acceptable thoughts, or do we dwell on it, allow it to loom large and influence all of our thoughts and actions? This is where the important choice must be made. I like to use this analagy: Thoughts can be like the birds. We cannot keep the birds from flying over our heads, but we certainly do have a choice in whether we allow them to build a nest in our hair! Think about that!Sp