Congratulations, everyone! For the past day, you got to be out of work, and spend some time with family, eating Turkey. And you probably spent some time giving thanks for some things in your life. Now you might be off spending all your time buying Christmas presents for those close to you, for whom you are most thankful.
I must admit that the whole Black Friday meme jokes are getting a little on my nerves this year. As much as I would never actually participate in Black Friday because I hate lines and crowds, I think there isn't a problem with spending money buying things for OTHERS after being thankful for what you already have. I mean, yeah.
Anyway, I want to challenge you to do something different today. You've taken some time to thank God for His blessings; now I want you to spend even more time realizing what those blessings are. Today, I want to challenge you with something that has twice gotten me through times in my life where I have irrationally made myself stressed about stupid things. It gives a rather nice perspective.
This little challenge is based on a sermon given by my pastor a little over a month ago, while I was home for Fall Break. It was a simple message, designed around people giving testimonies pertaining to the message after each of his three points. I decided to make a catalogue of how those points pertained to my life.
Writing that catalogue and looking back at it was a wonderful perspective change. Thus, today, I ask that you also take a look back at your life, and do the same through these three areas.
There are certainly some places in your life that seem particularly meaningful, where the Lord has done wonderful things. The place where you got saved, the place where you met a special friend (I don't necessarily mean a significant other, but you can read it that way if you want), the place where you decided what you wanted to do the rest of your life, the place where you came to rededicate your life to the Lord, etc. There are so many different possibilities, and it's refreshing to think about it.
This is the one who consistently gets me. This is where you record the people who have had a positive impact on your life. And for me, it fills a full two pages. I think you probably know what kinds of people have had an impact on your lives. People who trained you, people who led you to Jesus, people who encouraged you through suffering, your parents, people who listened to you when you needed someone etc.
I think you might be surprised how many people you can come up who have had tremendous impact on your life.
At this stage in my life, this particular category is fairly empty. But the idea is the problems that the Lord placed in your life that have ultimately ended up for your good.
For me, the primary one is of course when I was unable to attend Grove City College as I intended. That was devastating to me, and I hated it so much, but it is now the best thing that ever happened to me. Now as I pursue the role of a pastor, I could never be happier about where my life is headed. I love it so much, and could never see myself doing anything else.
So how about you? What places, people, or problems have had tremendous impact on your lives? I challenge you to make a catalogue of it. You might very well be surprised.