Driving past the family home as gloomy grayish blue clouds dim the brilliance of the autumn leaves, I noticed a piece of garbage in one of the flowerbeds. Making a mental note to stop on my way from work to pick up the unsightly litter, a whispering voice floated through my brain.
What are you doing about the messy state you allowed yourself to be in the last few months? What are you doing about the scattered indifference to the enjoyed interests that once reminded you of Me? I know you are grieving. However, you allow circumstances around you to dictate how you feel and respond. Wake up! Change your focus. I Am still here. Clear the debris and enjoy Me.
With the popularity of social media and the lack of teaching the social graces, sending greeting cards through the postal service may become a lost art. Do not jump to any conclusions. I appreciate greetings sent electronically just as much. However, there is a different aspect to receiving a folded sheet of card stock with a pretty graphic and printed sentiment. It is a physical expression of one’s love and care. So, today, this first birthday without a card from Mom and Dad, I will reminisce over my collection of cards received over the years and frequently read Isaiah 43:1-3; tangible reminders I am valuable and not forgotten.
If someone gave you the choice to be one of the Seven Dwarfs for a day, which one would you pick? I would imagine many would choose to be Doc, the wise-looking leader of this band of small statured miners. Some might wish to be Dopey, the clumsy class clown, while others might prefer to be Bashful, the cute, shy one. However, I do not picture many wanting to be Grumpy, the one who always wears a frown on his face. Hmmm… how about Happy? Now there is a runt of a man with an attitude of gratitude, always joyous with laughter, a guy who reminds me of my Grandpa (that is him at left) whose nickname was Happy. He too, displayed an attitude of gratitude. Dictionary.com describes gratitude as the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. Henry Ward Beecher, the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” Hmmm… gratitude may be an attitude but it is also a choice. Both Grumpy and Happy knew there was a choice, to acknowledge the many delightful blessings each day holds or turn a blind eye to them. However, Happy understood our thankfulness is not dependent on our degree of happiness, but our degree of happiness is dependent on our thankfulness. Knowing this secret gave Happy a joyous and thankful heart. Psalm 100 gives us another secret to a thankful heart – the LORD God who showers us with the heavenly blessings – for without an object of gratitude; it would be pointless to express our gratitude. So, what dwarf would you choose to be?