The Thanks-Living Jar…
January 1st. Great start. I’m in crisis! Walking round in a panic, my mind racing. I can’t settle. I think that my anxiety has kicked in and I can’t even remember where my stress-relieving meds are either!
My head and my emotions feel like they’re in the tumble-drier ( You know…the machine that dries clothes by ‘tumbling’ them in a hot-air environment ). But instead of clothes tumbling about, my thoughts and feelings are falling all over themselves and I know, from experience, that if I don’t get a grip, depression won’t be far off.
What to do…
Ah, yes… I need to get to my Bible!! Yes… that’s it… that’s the answer… read God’s Word… It’ll make me ‘feel’ better. It’ll salve my conscience. It’ll settle me down.
More about that later.
One thing that I do as much as possible every morning, to help prepare myself for the day, is read my Bible and the accompanying Bible-notes. My favourite notes is ‘Our Daily Bread and I’ve been reading these on and off since I was about fourteen – that’s about forty-three years, isn’t it?
They usually have a useful anecdote that helps illustrate a relevant scripture and so, turning to this morning’s reading I find that that ‘useful anecdote’ concerns… gratitude!
Oh joy, just what I’m looking for – a crash course reminder about being thankful. Ok the story is intriguing but really God? Is this what I need?
Well I read this morning’s scripture and its ‘intriguing’ story and, surprise surprise, a realisation hit me – with a mind constantly cluttered by everyday living, what is the one thing that I rarely, if ever, do? What is the one thing that really should underpin my life and yet more often than not remains neglected? Something that in all liklihood alienates me from others and perhaps even from God Himself?
I don’t know about you – it’s not that I am a completely ungrateful person or anything, but the cumulative effect of coming through so many traumatic experiences in my fifty seven years on this planet, well, it kinda leaves its mark; shapes your mind; reworks your attitude and often not in a positive way.
And I guess that over the years I have learnt, and in the still moments come to the realisation, that the only one who really probably suffers from the effects of ingratitude is… myself.
Or, I wonder, does God suffer too?
And so to the story…
“A lady named Sue started what she called her ‘Thank-Living Jar’. Each evening, Sue would write one thing she thanked God for on a small piece of paper which she would then drop into the jar. On difficult days she would struggle to find one and some days she would have many praises: perhaps He had given simple things like a beautiful sunset or a cool evening for a walk in the park; other times He had maybe provided grace to handle a difficult situation or even answered a prayer.
At the end of the year she would empty her jar and read through all of the notes. She would find herself thanking God again for everything He had done.
What a simple, marvellous idea! You know, you may not want to thank God per se, but just think, if we all did this anyway at the end of each day, just being thankful for something; anything, scribbling it on a note, and dropping the note into the jar… December 31st 2017 would reveal a real pleasant surprise, wouldn’t it?
The old year would end on a high and we would have something substantial to help us face going into a new, and unknown, year ahead.
It’s worth considering, isn’t it?
Well I’m going to do it anyway! 😊