October 2013 newsletter piece

Yesterday, I was sitting in my office working on a number of different things and listening to the “Christian Folk” radio station on Pandora.com when an interesting song came on. It’s a song called “Thank You God” by a new group called GreatStreet. (For more information, you can check out their website: http://greatstreetmusic.com/ourmusic.cfm.) Here’s a sample of the lyrics for you:

Thank You God

For rainy days and Mondays

Thank You God

For parking on the street

Thank You God

For this car I hate to drive

It takes me to the job that waits for me

Thank You God, thank you God

Thank You Jesus

For all the things that You have given me

Thank You God

For four‐by‐four foot cubes

Thank You God

For office meetings drive thrus

Thank You God

For this boss who’s got it out for me

And people who can’t seem to get along

Yes … you read that right. The whole song is about thanking God for all those little things that drive us crazy throughout the day – all those things that get us riled up and get under our skin.

Wait … what?!

Why would we be thanking God for the things that bother us? Why would we be thanking God for a car that we hate to drive, for Mondays, for a boss who’s got it out for us? From where we sit, these are the things that we ask God to fix in our lives, not the things we say, “Thank you” for.

But maybe we need to change our vantage point. Maybe we need to shift our point of view.

In recent weeks, we have been reminded all too often of the things that can go really wrong in the world: mass shootings in both Washington D.C. and Chicago, devastating flooding in Colorado, the hostage situation at the shopping mall in Kenya, the violence and political turmoil in Syria … sadly, even this long list could go on and on. Lately, it feels like every time we check the news – be it TV, radio, online news source, or the good old-fashioned newspaper – things around the world are getting worse. From this vantage point, all those minor irritants that are a part of our days don’t seem quite so earth-shattering, do they?

This doesn’t mean that we have to act happy when that boss that has it out for us comes down on us for something. It doesn’t mean that we have to walk around on Mondays acting as exuberant as we do on Fridays. It doesn’t mean we can’t fantasize about a new car instead of the one we’re driving.

But instead of spending all our free time griping about those little inconveniences, remember how blessed we are to live in this land of freedom. Remember how blessed we are to have the ability to write to our leaders with words of support or criticism, praise or complaint without fearing retaliation. Remember how much we have in comparison to the vast majority of the world.

Towards the end of “Thank You God,” GreatStreet sings this:

‘Cause my worst day could not outweigh

This world of suffering

So quiet me ’til I can be

A grateful offering

Just what did I do to deserve

This day I’m living in

I know that I could never earn

The choices and the chances that

You’ve given

Forgive me

Remember that even on our worst days, God loves us. God cares for us. And God has given us grace upon grace. Hallelujah. What a thing to be thankful for.

Blessings,

Image

* “Thank You God” was written by Joy Clevenger and Michael Warner and can be found on the GreatStreet debut album produced in 2010. *

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