In about an hour, I’m meeting up with my church, Emmaus Life, to talk about our Thanksgiving journals. I think I’ve mentioned this a couple times, but what these journals were intended for was to cause us to pause each day and reflect over something we’re thankful for. We were challenged with going deeper than the “I’m thankful for NFL football” type of things. Not to say that I’m not thankful for NFL football, because I am. But to say that we wanted to find the personal things that God was doing. We were told to find even the negative aspects of our days or our lives and try to see them as positive – as something that God gave us for our betterment. Tonight we get to talk about what we discovered.
After simply glancing through my journal, I can recall almost every day that I wrote about. I remember nearly every thing that I had done on each day and how it led me to feel thankful for what I had written down. Some say things like, “I am thankful for late arrivals to work, headaches, car problems, mocha spills, and book catastrophes. They are all evidence that this world is terribly broken and fading. Jesus, please come soon,” while others were longer, more thought out:
“Day 7: I am thankful for responsibilities. On my first day off this weekend, I’ve cleaned my room, done my laundry, and I’ve even washed my sheets. I have come to appreciate the things that are required in life – the little things like cleaning your room, getting groceries, taking out the garbage, etc. Those things give you a break from the routine and a strong sense of what a disciplined lifestyle feels like. It feels good.”
I think the real achievement of doing this Thanksgiving journal for the past 30 days is how it has caused me to find God’s fingerprints in my life. It has caused me to see the various areas where His hand has been. Just like looking up into the night sky and seeing God’s wonderful artistry with the cosmos, I’ve had the opportunity to see His artistry in this mundane, every day routine. It changes my attitude to know that His hand has been active in my life – even in the midst of something that frustrated me at the time it happened.
My prayer this morning, as I drove to work on time, was that this attitude would be permanent. We claim to know and love a God on a personal basis, but so often we fall into the routine of seeking God on Sundays and maybe a Bible Study during the week. Hebrews 4:12 says that “The Word of God is living and active,” so why should we expect a stagnant God who only works at certain times? He’s always with us and He’s always within us. And He’s always active.
My prayer for the remainder of this year and all of 2013 (assuming the Mayans were wrong) is that I’d be disciplined in the practice of finding God’s fingerprints in each and every day. If I continue searching for those prints, I’ll wind up with something like I have now: A first hand account of just how active God has been not in some distant land some thousands of years ago, but right here in my own heart. Such evidence has a way of propelling one deeper.