Devotional originally posted August 11, 2016
This human being (or is that “being human”) gig is not an easy one. We live in a crazy, complicated and contentious culture where terrorism, mass shootings and random violence are becoming so commonplace that the shock of these events threatens to give way to resignation. This year we have the added craziness of a political system gone haywire to make sense of. Too often I still find myself frustrated by people, events or circumstances that plague this fallen world. It would be easy to allow these feelings to take me down the all too familiar roads of anger and resentment or worry and depression.
Sometimes I wonder where God is amidst all of this turmoil? I must admit that there have been times when it feels as if God has abandoned us and left us here to get through this world on our own… but then I realize that God is right where God has always been: Within. Within me, within you, within the sunset and the rainbow, whether we recognize it or not we are interconnected by His internal, eternal presence. God will always live within our hearts and souls and no terrorist or politician can change that.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Some years ago, I entered a treatment program to overcome an addictive behavior. One of the most important parts of my rehab was to write a page or two in a journal at the end of each day. The idea was to reflect on what went well and what did not go so well and to learn from the experience. I always ended my journal entries by listing three things for which I am grateful. The gratitude entries didn’t have to be anything major because remembering to be grateful for the little things can help keep us grounded. I remember one night being grateful for rose petals, bottle-caps, and opposable thumbs.
One of my best defenses still, against the world, is to keep adding to that gratitude list. The simple act of writing down those people, events, and circumstances that are blessings, helps me better appreciate the experience of the present moment.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present. ― Bill Keane
After all… How can I continue to operate in frustration when I am thinking about how others have contributed good to my life? How can I fail to understand the gift of each day as I experience life’s small pleasures? How can we not feel a sense of abundance when we take a few moments to think about the beauty and wonder that surrounds us? Thank you Lord for the gift of this day, help me learn better how to walk with you in it.