Thanks for things great and small

Charles Spurgeon said, “Let us daily praise God for common mercies-common as we frequently call them, and yet so pricelss that when deprived of them we are ready to perish.”

I think that it comes more naturally to us to give thanks for the really big things and the relatively small things, but someone miss that huge chunk of day to day provisions that we come to expect. To illustrate what I mean, consider that when someone comes along and helps you out with an enormous project, you probably offer profuse thanks, right? Likewise, when a coworker takes care of a minor task for you that will save you time, you are likely to express thanks for that as well.

Yet what about the day in, day out things that make up that whole realm of the mundane in our lives? Do you thank your wife for doing the laundry? How about God for providing that job you go to month after month, year after year? Then there’s your church leadership for all of the behind the scenes work they do (often unpaid) to keep things running. What about your roommate for the little things he or she does that make your day brighter or easier? Do you thank your husband for his help with the children?

I venture to say that the folks that make up our routines are likely to get the least thanks from us, especially given the amount of contact we have with them. However, if we don’t express frequent gratitude towards them, what happens? Generally, we come to a point where we marginalize their contributions towards us and they feel it and don’t appreciate it! Further, our relationship with the Lord is affected by our lax attitude.

Perhaps one of the saddest aspects of this lack of gratitude is that it is usually unintentional. We are thankful for all those mundane things at first, when they are new, but as we grow accustomed to them as part of the rhythm of our lives, we mentally (and sometimes emotionally) focus our efforts on other things in life, things that are now new or things that are demanding or things that we are working towards. That’s why the remedy is to be intentional about extending thanks. We have to be reminded that all these things are actually worth the time it takes to recount them as blessings.

May we make every effort to give thanks to God and those closest to us for their daily graces, and through that, may our relationships deepen and abound in joy.

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