Good news came this week. One of our sons got a job in his field of teaching. We’re excited, relieved, delighted, and grateful. Definitely grateful. This coming about serendipitously for the one, after over a year of searching, disheartened, crushed, without success for the other two sons. As I was being grateful, thanking God for the provision, it wasn’t long before I switched into supplication mode, bringing up the fact that the other two could use such provision and how it might look.
Then I realized, wait a minute. I’m squandering a very wonderful moment, a time I should be resting in peace, not picking apart the delivery of it, determining that it’s not quite good enough. Because right at this moment, all four kids are employed. All four. Just like I asked for.
Last weekend, one was hired for the rest of the summer to be the videographer (it’s in his field of marketing) at the youth camp where another works for the summer until he starts his high school teaching job that just materialized this past week. So maybe after this summer gig he’ll be back to sitting daily, applying for jobs that won’t come. But right now, he’s with good friends, both old and new, and doing something he wants to be doing. Our daughter, just back from her fabulous trip to New York, is working at Target, a perfect job for a student who can schedule the work hours around classes. And the third son, who is where is he wants to be, can stay there because he has a job that will pay the rent (mostly). All four, working. All four, doing okay.
I almost missed it because I was too busy worrying about what might come or might not. That maybe it won’t be good enough, maybe it won’t last. But for today, we are in a place to rest. To be thankful, grateful. To not squander the gift.
Two families I know, one a good friend and another a neighbor, both recently lost one of their beloved children. Completely unexpected, not understood. Devastating. These are times of crisis for them. Each of us has times of storms. “For everything there is a season.” Some people say if you aren’t in a crisis right now, you’ve just come out of one or you’re heading into one soon. So in the moments in between, when the wind calms, it is the time to be grateful. We must not let these moments pass unnoticed or diminished. The gratitude we practice now will help get us through when the storm comes.
And we must practice. When the voice whispers that it isn’t quite what was expected, we must practice seeing the provision in it. When the voice wants us to jump past the gift to dwell on the next thing, we must practice going back and resting in the good, the relief, that the moment provides. It takes practice to have gratitude, to not take things for granted, to not let good things slip by unnoticed. It takes practice to accept good things as they come, even if they aren’t exactly what was expected. It takes practice to count our blessings, to notice each of them, and take the time to marvel over them, rest in them, be thankful for them.
I don’t want to miss the calm. I’m going to practice.
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