Practicing The Art Of Being Thankful For What’s In Front Of You

Keith KettenringChristian Living, The Uncommon Journey

Lisa and John rang our doorbell right on time. They had booked a room with us through Airbnb about five days ago. I opened the door with a smile and jubilant greeting. “Yay! You made it. Welcome!” “We weren’t sure this was the right house because the address wasn’t clear,” Becky critically replied. I knew from that moment that we were in for a long three-day visit. We treated Lisa with kindness and love as we would any other guest. But her disparaging attitude, laying just below the surface. sure made it a challenge. She was not a happy woman best indicated by her lack of thankfulness. At times I felt sorry for her in between my own times of frustration and niggling thoughts. We’ve heartily welcomed all kinds of people into our home through our Airbnb “busnistry.” The most difficult ones were the ungrateful. 

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This whole experience challenged me (again!) to become a thankful person. The ungrateful create an atmosphere of tension around them. To exude goodness, joy, peace, and happiness, the heart must become a thankful heart.

Here’s one way I’ve recently begun practicing thankfulness – saying “Thank you” for what is in front of me. Everywhere I go, in every moment, I see real reasons to be thankful. I can offer thanks for what I see or carry on my normal life taking for granted all that is around me. I’m not good at this. It takes some really intentional efforts. 

A couple weeks ago, I was out by my mailbox when the trash collector crew stopped to empty my 95-gallon trash can. I hollered above the noise of the dump truck to the driver and the guy grabbing the trash can, “Ya’ll do a great job. Thanks for your good service. Keep up the good work.” I don’t know if my thanks did them any good, but it sure made me happy.

By nature, I’m not a thankful person. I’m analytical, critical, judgmental, and a perfectionist. I’ve got a long way to go. But, being thankful for what is in front of me is helping change me. Thank God! 

I invite you to give the practice a try. Since you’re reading this – silently say thank you for your device, for the ability to read, for a mind to think, for the air you breathe, for the funds that helped purchase your device, for eyes to see, and yes, for The UnCommon Journey blog.  

Here’s some encouragement from the scriptures to keep at this: 

Let my mouth be filled with Your praise, O Lord, that I may sing of Your glory and honor all the day long. (Psalm 71.8)

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High! To declare your mercy in the morning and Your truth by night…For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your work; at the works of Your hands I sing for joy. (Psalm 92.1-4)

Be thankful for what is in front of you..and be happy. 

Dr. K