Not long ago, a dear friend posed the following question to me:
What would you have today if you were only left with the things you had given thanks for the day before?
That stopped me dead in my tracks. What would I be left with? Thinking back to the previous day, it dawned on me that I would be left with nothing.
Not my health.
Not my home.
Not my job.
Not my family and friends.
Think about it. What would you be left with? What were thankful for yesterday? Anything? If you’re being honest with yourself, probably nothing, or at the very least, very little.
Maybe it’s the result of living in first world countries. We have more than we could ever need – more than most people even dream of. But we take it for granted because it’s always been there, and we assume, it always will be. So, rather than taking stock of the ridiculous amounts of opportunities, money and luxuries at our fingertips, we’re consumed with what we don’t have and what we still need.
We complain about the traffic. We complain about our jobs. We complain about our leaders. We complain that the baseball game was rained out, that the contractor’s quote for remodeling the rec room was too high, that our service at a restaurant was sub-par, that our kids have too much homework, that our annual trip to Disney World will have to be cancelled because it interferes with the in-laws visiting.
Do we ever stop to think about how ridiculous we sound?
Do we ever stop to think about what we have to be thankful for?
It’s easy to complain. It’s harder to take stock of your life and be grateful.
If you were to make a list of all the things you gave thanks for the day before, my guess is there would be maybe a half dozen items on the list. But if you were to write down everything there is to be thankful for? You’d probably have a list of 50 to 60 items.
Make a list of all you have to be thankful for. And then tell me, based on that list, what would you have today if you were only left with the things you gave thanks for yesterday.