Generally around Thanksgiving time people start to think about family and friends, the things they are thankful for, the meaning of the holiday and, yes, those highly promoted sales.
Last Sunday morning, I woke up to get ready for church. As usual, I had fallen asleep with the TV on. I have never been able to sleep without a bit of noise so on this day I woke up to televangelist Joel Osteen on the TV. I’d seen him a few times before and have always enjoyed him so I decided to turn up the volume and get ready for church. Since I didn’t really have time to watch it, at least I could listen.
Mr. Osteen began discussing the benefits of thanking God for his favor. As he spoke, he said, “God’s favor is something intangible where you’ve got God’s blessings on your lives. Sometimes it is a struggle, but when you believe in him and thank him for the good things that happen in your life, you will receive more in abundance.”
I thought on that.
There are a lot of people who don’t expect anything good to happen in their lives. They don’t expect to get a promotion or a raise; they don’t expect to have a successful relationship or to get the loan for the car or house that they want. How many times have our negative energies resulted in a negative outcome? If you don’t expect anything positive to happen in your life, aren’t you in essence making the negative outcome a reality?
Just as he began to share a really interesting story to make his point, I looked at the clock and headed out the door.
Now is as good a time as any for me to practice what he preached. I smiled and said, “Lord, thank you for giving me favor in getting up and getting ready for church.”
I got in my Kia and headed to church, running 10 minutes early. Instead of my usual frantic, frenzied lead-foot drive, I drove calmly and enjoyed the ride.
As I got into the parking lot, I said under my breath, “Lord, thank you for letting me have favor in getting to church.”
I got out of the car and headed into the church. As I walked in the usher said, “Cher, come on in, you’re just in time for the dance ministry’s performance.” I walked in, sat down and said, “Lord, thank you for giving me favor in getting here right on time.”
A lot of us have favor and don’t even know it. All of us forget sometimes when we are going through personal difficulties because it’s so much easier to wallow in pity than to keep it positive in spite of life’s curve balls.
Throughout this Thanksgiving and Christmas season I’ll be thinking about everything in my life that is positive – the friends I’ve made, my family, a job I enjoy, the people I love and those who love me.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who could write a book on how much I’ve been favored. That being the case, saying thank you and saying it often during the holiday season and everyday after is the least that I can do.
How about you?