Gratitude

Pathetic. That’s the best word to describe the attitude of someone of late. I’m not going to mention any names here just in case he decides to read this. Let’s just say he’s 14 and lives in this house and calls me mom. He wants the latest edition of Battlefield, a video game that just came out. The game ALL of his friends are playing.  The game he just HAS to have, the only thing in this world that can save him from the BOREDOM that is engulfing his life. He has NO ONE to play ANY game with ANY more, EVER! Unless, of course, I shell out 60 dollars for this game. I’ve heard his whines for days now and none of my reasoning has stopped them. To my credit, I haven’t lost my patience and thrown his game system out the second floor window. But obviously, I have thought about it.

It makes me view the story of the children of God wandering through the wilderness a little differently. I have sometimes thought that it didn’t seem like such a big deal to ask for something different to eat than manna. I mean, manna everyday?  That’d be like me eating a grilled cheese everyday.  At some point, no matter how much I may love them, I would get sick of them. And I’d complain and whine and be pathetic. And I would push God’s patience. I only know this because I have whined and complained and been pathetic waiting on my healing to manifest. No doubt, I have tested God’s patience much as the Israelites tested His in the wilderness, much as this 14 year old boy has tested mine. I can see this now from God’s point of view. This whining, this complaining is tantamount to saying you aren’t a good parent, if you were you would give me what I want, what I think I need. What a horrible thing to say to a parent who has given so much. Especially to say to our Father who has given everything.

I have come up with a plan for both of us while we live the waiting game. Thanksgiving is drawing near as I write this and today we will make a gratitude board. We will paint a scrap piece of plywood and use it to display slips of paper that we write on each day one thing we are grateful for.  One rule: we can’t use the same thing twice. This is the fourth and Thanksgiving is the 28th so that gives us 24 opportunities to think of something besides my healing and his video game. Odds are, he will still want that video game and I will start want my healing, but I believe we will be blessed by focusing on what we do have instead of what we don’t have.

It seems simple, it seems like it should be easy. Twenty four things to be grateful for, how hard can it be? I think going into this though, Lord, that I need Your grace on this. Open my eyes, open my son’s eyes to see the myriad of things You have blessed us with. Forgive us for being so pathetic in our wanting that our vision is obscured to all the good in our lives. Thank You for this season of thanksgiving, help us to live it out for the next twenty fours days and beyond, I ask in Your name. Amen.

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