Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thankful = Happy

Year 5-Day 323: Today...I am grateful that happy cannot be captured through stuff. 

Today, I am going to retell a story from 2014. It is one that is dear to my heart, and to the heartbeat of what it means to be thankful and grateful. As we approach Thanksgiving, it is worth retelling. 

The story is not mine, but my friend Glen's. The told it in Sunday school class. Glen Belsley shared about a trip he and his wife,Elaine, took to Australia. He brought back a beautiful observation of the Aborigine people. Glen told this story:

"While  we were traveling on wheels through the less populated native places in Australia. We would see and observe the local natives on the side of the road. They all carried something, or so it seemed. Then the tour guide asked- 'See what they are carrying? Those are all the belongings they have. It is all of their worldly possessions.'  

A hush fell over the group of predominantly Northern Europeans. Then the guide said the most unforgettable, insightful thing. He said: 'Oh, don't feel sorry for them. They are HAPPIER than most of you!' "

That statement grabbed me and has haunted me. There is something to ponder. Glen is a wonderful storyteller, but it is the message in his story that is as fresh today as it was when he told it. 

It is not happy people who are thankful. It is THANKFUL PEOPLE who are happy. 

Dr. David Kale taught me the word "Cultural Myopia" - our tunnel vision and limitations of seeing only through the eyes of our own culture. Glen brought it to light again with his story. There are people who are truly happy, if they simply have enough. 

Enough is my "one little word" to be prayerful about this year.

Enough food. Enough clothing. Enough fresh water. Enough people to love. Enough help when I need it. Enough opportunity to serve. Enough clothing. Enough heat. Contentment with our circumstances - whatever they may be. Not easy with Black Friday ads already drowning us. 

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:19

This scripture from Luke comes to mind. We get so caught up in others opinions and ideas about what we need to do or not do. Seeking him first... with a grateful heart... and joy and peace fills our cup. 

And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs.Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. -Luke 12:29-31

I am grateful that I have enough! So much more than I need or can carry. I have enough to share. 

Today...I am grateful that happy cannot be captured through stuff. 

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