“The inmates are running the asylum!”
Have you heard that one before? It basically means that the least qualified and most incompetent people are in charge.
Um, yeah. Not such a good idea…
We humans are sort of insanely egocentric, aren’t we? I mean, we can really convince ourselves that all the good that comes our way is the result of our own effort and deservedness, while all the bad that happens to us is simply the fault of someone else (yes, even God). We love pointing fingers…while simultaneously patting ourselves on the back.
I include my own self in that mix, by the way. I’m totally guilty of the same behavior. The second something goes wrong, I can easily shake my fist at God and say, “What were you thinking? This isn’t what I had in mind! This situation belongs to someone else – I don’t deserve it!”
Then again, when something fantastic comes my way, I can also be quite quick to say, “Look at me! Look what I did! It’s all about me!” with little (if any) praise being sent up to my Father in Heaven who surely is the One who blessed me with the gift.
At the end of the day, this level of egocentricity just leads us to comparison, criticism, and discontentedness.
Dissatisfaction with the life and circumstances we’ve been given, added to our human tendencies toward jealousy and envy (not to mention dealing the realities of living in an imperfect world) can easily lead us into a good, long pity party.
I don’t want to run that insanely pride-filled asylum anymore, do you? It’s too tiring to remember all the lies that go with it.
The remedy to this egocentric life of pride is gratitude.
Gratitude, in all situations, leads us to love, joy, and humble satisfaction because – by immersing ourselves in thanksgiving – we eliminate the temptation to compare and criticize.
Placing our focus on the Creator and getting it off the “creation” helps to develop awe, reverence, and THANKFULNESS!
I don’t need to compare; to wish my life was the same as someone else’s. I ALSO don’t need to be criticizing the life I’ve got! Does the thing that is created look at the creator and say, “This isn’t good enough. I want it to be bigger and better! I want to have more, to be different…”?
Who am I to tell God He didn’t get it quite right, that His timing is off, or that what He has created and given me just isn’t how I envisioned my life to be?
I’m not the one who willed this world into being. I don’t tell the sun where to come up in the morning and again where to set at night. I do not have the first clue how to command armies of angels. (See Job , chapters 38-42, for this amazing “schooling” from God about who actually rules the Universe – spoiler alert: it isn’t us…!)
Let’s move toward an attitude of gratitude together. Let’s give the glory back to the one who gave it to us in the first place, no matter what that glory looks like through our human eyes. Let’s build on our reverence for God, by adding intentional gratitude to it!
“Eucharisteo – thanksgiving – always precedes the miracle.” Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Miracles
If we learn to live with gratitude, the miracle of grace begins to seep into every corner of our lives and transforms our discontent into joy and peace. It melts pride into humility. It clothes insecurity with the merciful confidence of Christ. It takes that frenetic “need to control” feeling out of our hands, and places it back into the only Capable Hands that it ever belonged – God’s.
Sweet, fellow “inmates”, this earthly life we are living can often feel insane. I know. But let’s spend some serious time being grateful that what we’ve been given is seriously good, and that the “Someone” in charge is way better for the job than us!
Oooo, I need to pray:
Father, I am so glad and grateful that you are in control. I am sorry for those times when I try so hard to take the reins of my life away from you and then mess it all up. I am so grateful that You have it covered, that nothing surprises You, and that Your grace and mercy are infinite in abundance. I need it, Lord, and I need You. Thank you, Father, for your love, Your kindness, Your blessing, and Your covering. Help me remain grateful that, regardless of my circumstances, You call me Yours. Forgive me when I neglect to see the beauty and blessings around me and I pray you would bring them to my mind when my pride and complaining get in the way. I love you. In the gracious name of Jesus, Amen.
Let’s end today with a beautiful song about putting our pride aside, and giving the glory to God. Here’s the JJ Weeks Band – “Let Them See You”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mgho0_JRetk
(I hope you enjoyed this re-blog, edited slightly from the one that originally posted here on February 27, 2014!)
Have a blessed Thanksgiving, my dears.
Peace, love, and JOY!
Up Next Week: The Butterfly Effect!