This is the time of year when there is MUCH talk about being grateful and thankful. But lets face it. Life is hard! We don’t always feel like being thankful and content in our circumstances. We get into our little funks and before we know it the grass is looking much greener on the other side of the street;
If we’re honest we’ve all been members of the “IF ONLY Club”. If only I had a better job; a better boss; a loving husband; a more respectful wife; children that listen or didn’t drop out of school; a bigger house; a newer car; more money; more time; a dog that was house trained; a vacation home… If only I could eat more and weigh less; live in the tropics; have a paid vacation; have a longer vacation… and the list goes on and on… we can all fill in the blanks.
Are you familiar with the “If Only Club”? If so the following list and link helps us to realize that the grass is not always so green on the other side of the street. It always looks greener until you have to mow it. Then it’s back to the club house meeting with the audience in our minds!
This list by Dr. Bob Hoffman, co-founder of The Masters Circle helps us to see just how wealthy we are compared to the rest of the world. It is really interesting and put things in a clearer perspective for me and I hope it does for you to!
– If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more ‘fortunate’ than the million that will not survive this week.
– If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
– If you can attend a religious meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you ‘have more religious freedoms’ than 3 billion people in the world.
– If you have a refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.
– If you have money in the bank or in your wallet and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
– If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are thankful, you are a ‘beacon’ because the majority can…but most do not.
– If you can hold somebody’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you are graced because you can offer ‘the Creator’s’ healing touch.
– If you can read this message, you have received a double gift in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more ‘educated’ than over 2 billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-12: “I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.”
It really is a matter of being content and fostering an attitude of gratitude. Membership into the “If Only Club” only holds one pre-requisite. That we are discontent! Discontentment in our lives, in our jobs, in our relationships, the street we live on the home we live in…
The truth is most of us are better off than the person with the green grass on the other side of the world, the neighborhood on the other side of town or even across the street.
Being grateful and content for every thing is not easy but I want to be able to say, like Paul, “I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I have learned to live on my side of the street where the grass isn’t always so green or maybe there isn’t any grass at all! I am thankful for what God has given me at this moment in time and will walk this path with an attitude of gratitude”
So while we are surrounded on Thanksgiving with an abundance of food, family and friends my prayer is that we will really understand the importance of being content. We will cherish the riches God has given us and understand just how wealthy we are. Let’s shut down the “If Only Club” together and perpetuate a spirit of Thanks-Living all year long not just on Thanksgiving Day!