As I scrolled through my facebook and twitter feed this morning I read lots of #thankfulnovember posts. I enjoyed the reminders to be grateful for “big” things like clean water (that I did not walk miles to collect) and a warm bed (that was also comfortable and lovely) as well as “little” things like holiday coffee creamer and babies giggles. It prompted my heart to consider my own overlooked blessings for a moment and I felt the upward lift of spirit that comes from choosing to be intentionally thankful and focused on all that I already have, instead of my all too usual default of “things I don’t need but really want.” Something weird happened though, when I began to consider typing out my own little gratitudes. I started to feel pressure to write something that no one else had written- something that would cause others to ponder and reflect and be impressed with my particular insight that had never occurred to them before.
I have a college aged son and recently in our conversations It’s been interesting to see how his generation pushes back against trends. If everyone is currently excited about an expression, a cause, a product or a celebrity- well, it’s already uncool. It’s only edgy to be excited before everyone else catches on. #thatissooooyesterday
I was amused by the irony of “once it’s trending it’s already out” but I believe this says something deeper about our human nature and it’s not limited to his generation. We often tend to find significance in being unique, original and ahead of the curve. We value others who come up with revolutionary new concepts, not those who buy into them. Our pride tells us to keep our enthusiasm in check when we stumble onto something good, especially if it’s after other people have already been aware. We use disclaimers apologetically, like “I know I’m late to the party here, but I am loving _____________”
It takes humility to admit the biggest and best concepts will not come from me. In fact, Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, “There is nothing new under the sun…” The truth is, my joy and hope comes from agreeing with the revolutionary and radical concept of grace. The idea that God loves me NOT because of my goodness or intelligence or any other facet of me, but because He is good. The truth is we are all meant to be responders. Responding to God’s love and goodness and grace by uniquely expressing it to others. There is no truth that I stumble on that was not initiated by God himself. This reality frees me up to quit trying to be the originator of awesome. Instead I can respond in the ways God created me with joy to the great reflections of His grace in the world and in other people. So, this November I’m joining the #thankfulnovember posts because it encourages me. God has given me much to be grateful for and this is a way to connect to it.