I found the verse in the Bible that says pray without ceasing. I also read the one that says His praises shall continually be in my mouth. But I’m still trying to find the one that encourages us to complain and be ungrateful.
We can all find things in our lives that aren’t quite the way we want them to be. And, by the world’s standards, we may even have a right to complain about them. But in this New Year, I challenge you to count your blessings instead!
Society has trained us to look for the next great thing: cell phones, shoes, designer purses, new model vehicles, etc. We have been conditioned to think what we have is not enough. We either need more of what we have or better than we have.
We talk about being blessed but to what extent do we mean it when we say it? Are we blessed only when we are able to purchase the new car or do we consider ourselves blessed to simply have reliable transportation?
Constantly seeking the new and improved does not leave much room to be grateful for what we have now. The reality is what we currently have is sometimes much more than others. They would be quite satisfied with last year’s phone, while we are figuring out how to upgrade to the new model.
I recall saying I had a wardrobe crisis one morning. The comment was meant to be a light-hearted joke but I later corrected myself. What I had that day was far from a crisis! My problem that morning was having too much to choose from and not being able to decide what to wear. A crisis would be having no clothes other than the ones on my body, waking up on the street, and not knowing if I would have a meal that day. THAT is a crisis. Not once that morning did I look around my closet and consider thanking God for my many blessings!
We own a home but decide to get a larger one because the raise we received means we can afford it. The car we drive is nice but we want a nicer one. I am not opposed to prospering and having nice things as long as there is a healthy appreciation for and recognition of the blessings.
While we are acquiring bigger and better, I pray we are also maximizing opportunities to save for the future. It is not a blessing to live fully for the here and now if we are not planning and preparing for retirement as well. Spending without saving will not benefit us or our families in the long run. Being blessed with a closet full of shoes will do us no good if we can’t afford to live comfortably in retirement. The real blessing is to live without sacrificing in retirement. It’s much easier to make the sacrifices early on.
Appreciate The Now
Appreciate the now. Be mindful and thankful for the wants and needs that have been met. And while spending and living in the here and now, please plan simultaneously for later. Playing catch-up at the age of fifty-five when you want to retire at sixty-two is possible. However, it would take great sacrifice and major changes in your lifestyle. Small sacrifices well in advance can help ensure a comfortable lifestyle later.
Does it really matter if your car is a 2012 Camry and it’s now 2018? If it’s clean, comfortable, and reliable keep it. Once the car is paid off, consider continuing to make a payment, but make it to yourself by way of a retirement/investment plan.
When I can clean out my closet and donate more purses than some women will own in a lifetime, that’s a problem; especially if I have not saved or invested an equal amount of money.
I am grateful the Spirit led me to rethink the words I spoke that day. Since then I have become much more aware of what I am actually saying. It has also helped me count my blessings and put a few priorities back in order.