Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:13-18
HEAVY: It’s been a fairly heavy week again in the blog-o-sphere – both the heartbreak and the hope. I’ve written about terrorism, fear, refugees, and extremism; and also promise, love, faith, and then – yesterday – the beauty of community, and young parents presenting their child to God in Covenant Baptism.
Today I’m lowering the intensity and sharing a few images of Rebekah’s irresistible dog, Scout Labradoodle.
Yesterday, when I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, Scout’s huge and inquisitive nose was just about beside itself with curiosity. The baked ham was calling, and she simply could not keep away. She obeyed my directions to “stay down,” but every time I looked her way she had edged a little closer. She’d been crawling, an inch or two at a time, every time I turned around, until – finally – she was hard up against my feet.
She was immovable, rooted, moored, unbudgable. I considered grabbing her collar and sliding her out of the kitchen, but then had a better idea. I pulled out my iPhone camera and fixed her in my sights. Scout has developed a profound aversion to paparazzi (it’s the only time I see her obviously annoyed) and she was gone in an instant!
Scout is now nine and a half, and by every measure becoming a “senior” dog. She’s slowed down considerably, our walks have been cut pretty-much in half, and between the allergies and the pain in her joints she helps keep the pharmacy end of the animal clinic profitable.
But still, unfailingly, Scout makes us smile every day. She loves us with every fiber of her being, she is happy and excited about every aspect of her life, she is grateful for even the smallest treat or affirmation.
Scout’s secret to happiness is gratitude, and her love language is presence.
“THANK YOU”: Scout’s attitude reminds me of a great story Rebekah used in her sermon November 29, based on the book, 365 Thank Yous by author John Kralik. Kralik, mired in overwhelming circumstances and desperation, decided to write a thank you note each day for a year. The discipline of gratitude literally changed his life, transforming him from darkness into light.
If only we could approach life like Scout does – the way John Kralik learned to – and begin each day and every situation in that context? To “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus…”
Just grateful to be, grateful to love, and grateful to be loved? Then, to live – gratefully – into that truth, one moment at a time.