Today is the fourth day in my little series about having more joy. It’s not really my series nor my ideas. They are really lessons I’ve learned along the way, am learning and need to relearn (I am pretty forgetful). Part one, being content with our circumstances is just as difficult as part two, not dwelling on the past and part three, not worrying about tomorrow. So what more can there be? Actually there are lots of ways in which we can learn to be more joyful – maybe we can have a second series sometime. But today, here’s the fourth way I’ve learned to have a more joyful life.
4. Be Thankful
There is something therapeutic about counting all the ways that you have been blessed, about finding things to be thankful for. There is something pure and right about reflecting on the blessings you’ve enjoyed. “Count your many blessings,” we sang loudly from the church pews. But singing loudly doesn’t necessarily equate to actually living and understanding.
I wonder what our lives would be like if we took a day off from all our activities and paused for the day to name all the many blessings we’ve enjoyed. I wonder how long it would take to name them one by one. If we were really honest, I bet it would take longer than we think. I wonder what our lives would be like if we lived as Paul encouraged the Thessalonians, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18]8)
So, today, wherever you are, take as long as you are willing or able and name some of those blessings that you have known and continue to know. Go ahead, name them one by one. After you’re done, go ahead and eat two cookies and call me in the morning.