This week, Pastor Chris Seay reminded us of the importance of a grateful heart and the danger of an ungrateful one. When we focus on what we don't have and complain about what we do — like the Israelites in the wilderness grumbling about manna — we undermine our belief that God knows what is best for us. Instead, the call is to be present to what God has given us with a joyful spirit. Only then can we find true peace.
Reflection Questions and Practices
Pastor Chris invited us to a renewed, deeper practice of gratitude. Gratitude begins with a kind of mindfulness which is embodied in the present moment and thankful for it. We want to invite you into this mindfulness to begin your prayer time. Silence yourself for a moment and consider the present moment and the events of the day that led up to this moment. Thank God for this moment and for God's presence with you.
Next is a practice of thanksgiving. Set a timer for a couple minutes, and begin thanking God for anything that comes to mind. As best as you can, try avoiding prayers of petition (prayers requesting something from God). Try for five full minutes only to thank God for His gifts. Pay attention to how your thanksgiving opens you up — you may find yourself moving from tangible things or people (ex. "thank you for my mother") to more less tangible, significant experiences (ex. "thank you for that moment when the bluejay landed outside my window during morning coffee"). You may even find yourself with a sudden urge to message a loved one and tell them how much they mean to you. We pray you let this practice take your soul in whatever direction the Spirit would have it go.
Before The Throne Of God Above
All Creatures Of Our God And King
Let Our Faith Be Not Alone
I Surrender All
Be Still My Soul