The Simple Things

We have so much to be thankful for don’t we? Yet we sure are a bunch of complainers.
When I lay my son down each night I pray with him, he calls it “fankful for” because I’m adamant that we pray with a thankful heart.
What he says he’s thankful for is usually a long list of the simple things in life, he’s thankful for his cousins, his friends, his mommy and his daddy, most of the time he’s thankful for his brother, but not always. He’s thankful for his school and his teachers, his church and Sunday school, he’s thankful for his grandparents and of course his dad’s Lightning McQueen-esque car.
Occasionally he’s thankful for the material things like his toys or a new shirt, he’s thankful for the gifts he’s received after a birthday or Christmas, but for the most part he’s thankful for the people in his life and the experiences he’s had.
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What a stark contrast to what I pray for when I close my eyes, Lord help me… give me… allow me… please Lord do this and do that. Teach so and so a lesson and make my life easy, and of course keep my name in the book of life cause its all about me.
I don’t believe in the prosperity gospel and yet I want God to make me prosper, I believe people should work hard and yet I pray for lottery winnings so I won’t have to work and I don’t even play!
I pray with a sense of entitlement and get mad at people who think the world owes them something. I pray when someone ticks me off and I pray when someone reacts badly after I’ve offended them.

Isn’t it funny that as a child is lavished with innumerable gifts, they are thankful for the people?
As an adult we are thankful for the things we have and the things we should have and yet the people in our lives go unnoticed?

I wonder if this is what Jesus was talking about when he said we ought to have “faith like a child”
Adults lead lives that are never-endingly busy, while the children watch us ignore them. We get frustrated with them when we see them fighting and what are the parents doing? Fighting! Fighting with each other, fighting with others, fighting with the world, and our children, who are just following our example learn to fight with others and we wonder why.

We could learn a lot from our kids and how they pray, we pray for something to come, they pray for something that’s done. I pray for a better day tomorrow, my son prays for a good day today.
That’s huge! He’s thankful for a day he saw as good and I pray for a day tomorrow that’ll be better? What’s going on here? No wonder he can wake up each day and enjoy the small things, he’s thankful for it. I have a tendency to look at the upcoming day with negativity because I’m not even thankful that I have the day. I want something out of the day while my son sees everything in the day as something to be thankful for.

Now… I am not saying he’s a perfect little angel, all parents know their kids are far from angelic, even on good days. What I’m saying is even after they just tried to kill each other they find someway to carry on and enjoy each other.

Adults have a disagreement and we shun each other, we tell our kids to forgive and then we don’t practice forgiveness.

Often times I speed through the bedtime routine cause I have a TV show to watch and they’re cranky cause they don’t want to go to bed.
But after they’re in bed and and they’ve accepted defeat they have the most humbling things to say.
“Thanks for my grandma and grandpa, thanks for my other grandma and grandpa, thanks for my friends and my cousins….” it slows me right down and then we have that Kodak moment you see on hallmark cards, where we are both thankful for each other.

Through all the misbehaving, all the times I’ve raised my voice, all the time-outs and all the frustration, that short little boy is a blessing from God and although he doesn’t act like he’s from heaven I know he is, and although it doesn’t feel like I’m all that good of a dad I know he’s thankful for me! That is by far the best moment I have everyday.

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