by: Jessica (Stone) Saunders
A beautiful element of being thankful is that it’s contagious. Thankfulness breeds thankfulness. There are plenty of times I’ve not felt thankful, but felt the opposite: bitter, negative, cynical, ungrateful. (And those qualities all breed more of themselves too.) It’s in those times of gunk that being thankful is the most crucial. Being thankful forces me to look through a different lens than my “to-do” lens or my “nothing’s going right” lens. It is impossible for me to be truly thankful and bitter or cynical at the same time. One will eventually win. How I view my life—my circumstances and situations—completely affects whether I am thankful me or bitter me.
I can choose an anxious, overwhelmed, grumpy, bitter me. And too often—honestly, transparently—I do. That me is the easiest, most convenient me. It comes naturally, from the fleshly, human part of me. It doesn’t require discipline, or anchoring to a greater Source. But this me also misses out on the beauty of the little things, the precious, treasured moments and details that come from the gracious Hand of our Creator.
Really, thankful me comes down to two things: choosing to be thankful and shifting my perspective. It takes a conscious effort, a deliberate decision to recognize and give thanks for the blessings—and the not-so-blessings—all around me. It isn’t necessarily an easy choice to make, being thankful; but the more I choose to be thankful, the easier it becomes. In choosing to be thankful, I choose to change my perspective. Instead of focusing on the mountain, I notice all of the beauty during the climb and thank the Creator for those glimpses of hope along the way. Rather than throwing a fit about the waves crashing down all around, I respond in faith and thank the Calmer of the storms for an opportunity to trust Him.
Thankful me may not be the easiest, but it is the boldest, most humble, most positive me. Thankful me is the best me I can be. It’s the me I choose to be.
Jessica Saunders was an associate in rbcstudents before being called to Tennessee.