Thankfulness

The job is annoying.

There are no mangos in the supermarket today. And then you have to sit in the waiting room at the doctor’s forever flicking through boring magazines because your smartphone keeps switching off. Traffic jams on the way home because of a construction site. Then coming home. The kids are annoying. The wife just keeps on texting you. Well, then I’ll clean out the dishwasher. For dinner there is only this bread, which I don’t like. Then I descale the water tap in the kitchen. And when the children are finally in bed, there’s nothing good on TV. And that was not all, because then…

Stop!

Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe in variations, but not unknown? We Germans are said to be world champions in moaning. Is this true? Do you also feel that things often just annoy you and that a lot of things are stupid? Think about it! If you can honestly say to yourself, „No, I hardly ever complain at all“, you don’t really need to read any further (I would appreciate it anyway). If so, I will try to give you a different view on things…

At the supermarket – you can just go in there and buy whatever you want (except maybe during the Corona lock-down the toilet paper). Other people toil in their small fields to get their daily bread. They don’t need toilet paper either, because they don’t even have a real toilet…

Waiting at the doctor’s office – You have access to doctors for every ailment and a health insurance that pays for most of it. Other people take day trips to see a doctor. In the USA, you are heavily in debt after a broken leg because health insurance is not a matter of course…

The kids are annoying – be thankful for your children! There are many couples who cannot have children…

I don’t think I need to write any more. You know what I want to say. In our rich country, we take so many things for granted. Not everyone has peace, a house, an apartment, good drinking water, daily food, etc. Because everything is taken for granted, we become ungrateful. Because we no longer see how good God means us. The ingratitude turns into dissatisfaction. And the dissatisfaction eats us up. It spreads in our environment.

Dissatisfaction…

I mean to perceive that this feeling is spreading more and more in the course of the Corona crisis, the resulting limitations, the apparent senselessness of time at home. People are quick to scold the government. Perhaps some things are not understood. And some things that are decided are simply stupid. These are just a few examples.

I don’t want to belittle crises that cause things like the death of a loved one or unemployment. That is a different story. It’s about the everyday things that annoy us.
I don’t feel any different. I have to be careful myself not to join the chorus of whiners. But what can you do to avoid getting old and bitter?

…and how it disappears

How good it is to give thanks to thee, O LORD, and to sing thy name, O most high God, to praise thy grace early in the morning, and to praise thy faithfulness still in the night, to the music of the ten-stringed harp and to the beautiful playing of the lute!

Psalm 92:2-4

I think that the psalmist is doing it right: he is reflecting on God. He goes into the day with an attitude of gratitude and concludes it just as gratefully. He thanks God for all the small and big things. And yes, the psalm writer also had problems – I am sure of that. It is not a matter of ignoring all problems, but of the attitude towards them. How do I deal with it? What do I do with it? Do I bring them to the Son of God? I think that is the crux of the matter. Jesus carries the burden with us! And that is good to know.

Exercises

  • Think about three things before you go to bed at night for which you are thankful that day. Do this every night.
  • If you want, say „thank you“ to God for them.
  • If something good happens to you, write it down and look at it from time to time.
  • If someone does something good to you, say „thank you“.
  • Try not to join in one or two times when your colleagues, friends, etc. are complaining.

Your perspective can change – you just have to want it!

Be blessed!


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