It's November - the winds are blowing a bit colder; the temperature is dropping closer and closer to freezing; leaves are beginning their fall from the trees; the World Series is over - before too long, Christmas decorations will be displayed in homes, stores, and the mall, lightly prefaced with some Thanksgiving cheer.
As we officially enter the holiday season of 1999, I am reminded of my propensity for pessimism. Complaining, for me, is easy. Most of my life, it has not been a chore for me to zero in on the negative aspects of a situation; maybe some would call it "being a pessimist"- my wife calls it having a bad attitude. As I was growing up, my mother often referred to me as a "Puddleglum" (the down-in-the-mouth character from C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 4) or as an "Eeyore," from the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.
Perhaps I'm genetically wired with a "down" look on life - (I don't know that that is the case with me - it sounds like a good excus.) Whatever the reason - I've found that the more I feed my negativity with attention & indulge the "glass is more than empty" attitude, the more difficult it is to see the good things that are in my life & the lives of those around me. By focusing on the crud, I miss the blessings, the fun stuff, & the things to be thankful for.
Being thankful is a choice - no matter how I feel, I need to be thankful for all that God has done. Being thankful doesn't mean I live in a dream world. It doesn't mean I pretend that every situation in my life is just "Peachy Keen." It also doesn't mean that I live with a fake smile on my mug, declaring to anybody that will listen, "Boy, isn't it a beautiful day in the neighborhood today." I can live as a follower of Jesus Christ, in the real world, and at the same time give the Creator of the Universe His due - thanking Him for my wife, three kids, extended family, friends, His provision in food and a place to live, nice weather, the list goes on.
Ask yourself: What's my attitude? What do I have to be thankful for? Have I talked to God lately, and told Him thank you? Give it a try - you might even enjoy yourself and find that your Puddleglum starts to fade - check out the "Thanksgiving Psalm."
A psalm. For giving thanks. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever. His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:1-5 NIV
Louie Locke Jr.is from the Fountainhead Foursquare Church.