Over the past couple of days, the Lord has been showing me the importance of being grateful.
The other night my husband made quesadillas for dinner. Our youngest had finished his food and wanted more, so my husband gave him half of another quesadilla. Our son was upset. He wanted another whole quesadilla, not half.
Of course, my husband used his better judgement in only giving our son an additional half. He knows his eating habits, and it was likely that he wouldn’t finish another whole quesadilla. If our son ate that half and was still hungry, my husband would have gladly given him more.
When our son displayed how upset he was at getting just that additional half of a quesadilla, my husband explained to him that he was being ungrateful for what he was given. That he should have been glad that there was more for him to eat and that he’s never had to go hungry. But instead of listening to him, our son was so unhappy that he didn’t even eat the additional half of the quesadilla that was given to him.
This prompted me to think about whether I am mindfully practicing gratefulness in my life. Unfortunately, I came to the conclusion that I tend to be a bit ungrateful. I’m not actively trying to be ungrateful; it’s not like I’m picking things apart and being unnecessarily critical, but I tend to focus more on the one thing that is wrong than the many other things that are right.
When I was thinking about all of this, the Lord reminded me of how my son didn’t even eat the additional half of that quesadilla, because he was so upset about it only being half. How often do we miss out on blessings that the Lord is giving us because we are so focused on the one thing that is wrong? I have lost countless nights of sleep over that one wrong thing. In fact, on numerous occasions that one wrong thing has progressed into a stress-induced migraine that has lasted for days. I’ve turned that one wrong thing into something bigger and badder, simply by giving it more attention than the obvious blessings that the Lord has given me.
Not only does this misdirected focus cause us to miss out on blessings, but it displays a lack of trust in The Giver. When my son got upset about that half of a quesadilla, he was showing his dad that he didn’t trust that this decision was made in his best interest. He didn’t trust that he would have given him more if he was still hungry. The Lord has proved His goodness and faithfulness to our family repeatedly, but when I decide to focus on that one wrong thing, I am actively showing him that I don’t trust him! I am forgetting the times that he has blessed me, and the current blessings I enjoy. And after all that our family has been through, that is the worst part for me- knowing that I am showing a lack of trust in the One who has brought us through all of that. Through hospitalization, comas, diagnosis, rehabilitation, medication withdrawals, and thousands of seizures. But instead of pursuing a mindset of gratefulness, I’ve thrown those things to the wayside over that one wrong thing.
Yes, eventually I come to my senses and remind myself of what He has done for us- of the many blessings that I didn’t pray for or even know I needed, but that He still decided to lavish on me.
So, starting today, I am mindfully pursuing a state of gratefulness. Instead of falling into the habit of focusing on the one wrong thing, I’m going to remind myself of what is good, what is right, and the many blessings the Lord has given me.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8