“Mama, what do you think is my greatest weakness?”
I’d been at junior high camp for the week, and the youth pastor had challenged us to ask this question of someone that knew us well. Who better than my mom, who’d known me all fourteen years?
Granted, I was a bit nervous as I awaited her answer. She’d probably say impatience, which I knew was a problem. I hated waiting for answers and knew she would be justified for such a response.
Then there was the blatant fact that I was not very pleasant when I first awake. Come to think of it, I snapped at Mama that very morning. Now I was second-guessing my weakness in light of my recent behavior.
But on the other hand, I could also talk too much. Once I woke up, I was the polar opposite of my mother’s quiet demeanor. I could rattle on for hours. On occasion, she had asked me to give her “just five minutes of silence,” – which was extremely hard for me to do. Yes, I was stacking up quite a list of possibilities in my mind of which she might choose.
“Ungratefulness, I guess.”
Mother’s answer not only broke my reverie but shocked my reality.
“WWWhat??” I stammered, trying to make sense of her thoughtful response.
“There are so many things I love about you, Kandy. You are bubbly and enthusiastic. But, honestly, sweetheart, you don’t have a very thankful heart.”
As we enter another holiday, my mother’s answer resonates with me still.
Thanksgiving has importance in December as well.
Throughout raising my children and watching them parent their own, I realize that the essence of life depends on our gratitude to God. A grateful heart decides whether my life will be full of fruitfulness or want. A complaining spirit takes the pathway of misery: the thankful one, the highway of hope.
We hear much about the Presence of the Lord and the multitude of benefits this place holds. Connection with Him shelters us from gossip and the painful words of others (Psalm 31:20). His Presence is the way to experience joy, gladness, and freedom from anxiety (Psalm 16:11, 21:7, 97:5). So, how do we enter into His Presence for all of these promised blessings?
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving” (Psalm 100:4).
I think maybe I’ve heard that before.