Awareness is thankfulness

(Finding my awareness with my beautiful wife in the Patagonian mountains of Chile.)

A group of teenage girls gossip, giggle, and pass a young man opening the door for them without pause…

Dozens of volunteers spend multiple hours sorting and assembling groceries for families who come into a food bank, get what they need, sign for them, and enjoy them at home not ever seeing the volunteers…

A man pulls a box out of the way on the street, so a youth on their phone doesn’t unwittingly trip on it as they are texting on their phone…

A military serviceman waits in the corner of an airport on a delayed flight as countless people walk directly past never even noticing them…

A group of teenagers head to an after school program to hang out and play games in a safe environment that was donated and arranged by people who only want to see them have the opportunity to succeed where they normally wouldn’t…

A man wakes up on the 31st day of a new year to see the sun rise yet again after 32 years of life…

And in every single situation one thing permeates, a lack of gratitude.  Not even a simple thank you, which would mean the world to those who provide even the smallest gift or service, given without expectation.  And all of these real events I have experienced or done myself.

Realizing this as if for the first time, I have started looking into thankfulness, and even began a small 13 day devotional on the Psalms of Gratitude in an app called He Reads Truth. And if you are in the hunt for excellent and short (for us busy folk) daily inspiration, these are great (there is also, She Reads Truth for the ladies).

Of course, the very first one based on Psalm 100, hits me like an ‘iron to the face’ (for you HomeAlone fans).  In speaking on the verses on how we should be singing praises to God for all His incalculable gifts to us, the devotion writer Britton Sharp says this,

“Thankfulness comes from awareness. If I am not thankful, it is most likely because I am unaware of what I have been given.”

Much like the examples above, how many times DAILY do we let this happen.  In our society where our baristas make our latte 10 degrees to hot, someone cuts us off in traffic, or we declare how ‘starving’ we are as we wait in line for our 2-3 portion size burrito at Chipotle, why do we not acknowledge all the amazing things we have been given?

Awareness.  And if we were finally able to be aware, would we not be all the more grateful, giving even the most humble ‘thank you’ to those like the young man, the volunteers, or the serviceman in the corner.

For when we finally begin to see, become aware, and give thanks to those around us for all the little blessings we receive each day, for all the small kindnesses shown to us by others and our God; this is His promise to you.

    “Behold, I will do something new,
     Now it will spring forth;
     Will you not be aware of it?
     I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
     Rivers in the desert.” - Isaiah 43:19

Do you see His provisions for you, His pathways laid out for you, His rivers that bring you life giving water in your deserts?  

Did you know He has done this for you through giving us His only Son as a way to finally really know Him, and in doing so, know full joy?

Open your heart and be aware….

then, give thanks.