Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good. Take nothing for granted, not even the rising of the sun. The more we thank Him, the less we’ll worry and complain. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. Ask and believe God for what you need, and always ask Him with a thankful heart. Glory to God!
Today I’m here for no other reason than it is Your will and grace, Father. I humbly thank You. I breathe because of You. My other senses are clear because of You. I know love because of You. Thank You Father! I pray to not take for granted anything or anyone that You have placed in my life–no sunrise, sunset, morsel or crumb, clear skies, clean water, the feeling of my beating heart, perspiration, tear drops, silence or noise, a smile, the patient wait of someone thirsty for knowledge, or the casual calls from loved ones–may I never take for granted. It’s all for a reason, it’s all Your gift to me.
Let me slow down, stop and appreciate each day, the tiniest things with as much care and wonderment as I do the big things. The words whispered or shouted from a mouth that has no home, but in the spiritual sense, let those words ring in my ears that I may be receptive enough to speak in return. Thank You Father. Thank You!
We walk around in our bubbles, participants in a rat race created by man, and missing out on huge moments that for us are merely a passing glimmer or completely unseen. God’s creations and opportunities, more used and abused by us than embraced, and it may be too late to slow down in appreciation after you spent so much time spinning on that hamster wheel.
What’s the purpose of working so hard to acquire things and relationships, if we aren’t spending adequate time nurturing and appreciating those things and people?
The cars and houses, jewels and other shiny things, the growing businesses, fancy titles, thousands (or even millions) of social media followers and post “likes”, the pride in sharing how many hours we work each week—for what purpose? Are our social media connections really genuine connections, or just like any other game we play–success through amassed numbers? And what’s the purpose of this outreach, is it self-serving and self-gratifying? How many of those so-called “connections” do you actually connect with on a regular basis for personal, professional, or spiritual reasons? Or do they just sit in a box like trophies?
With all of the gadgets, doodads, trophies, medals, cars, homes, boats, shoes, and accessories that you have collected over the years, who inherits these things when you pass away and transition to your next level of existence? If you don’t have children (and ones who would appreciate (and not sell) the inheritance) then are your items being issued through an Executor to your church or some other organization? Or having no master plan, will your things sadly be left behind for the State to seize and discard?
I say all of this to simply say, what and whom are you taking for granted each day you run on that hamster wheel you created?
People want to equate their hamster wheel existence to Jesus’ crusade, and I ask you, how could you possibly compare your journey to his? Many of you don’t even know if you’re truly doing what God called you to do, or if you’re just doing what you’re good at, or what seems to be the most obvious path to take. Here’s some points of clarification to consider…
Jesus was not oblivious to the things and people around him. He even knew when someone seeking healing touched his robe. How many people are associated with you but you have no true connection? How many conversations do you have where your eye contact is lost because you’re making eye contact with someone else, or you’re fiddling around with your mobile device?
Jesus invested his time in the little people–spending quality time with them, even with thousands trying to get his attention, he made each individual connection feel as though they were the only two present. Jesus was criticized by the priests and others of so-called religious authority, for having meals with and healing people who were not desirable—the poor, sick, sinners, uneducated, misfits, and forgotten—rather than hobknobbing with the so-called elite. Jesus saw these elitists as fools who would all fall and never get back up. It’s a wonder that so many of us struggle and fight to be part of elite groups, looking down on the masses.
Jesus also took much-needed breaks to pray, reflect, and work on himself.
Jesus was a minimalist, at a time when he could’ve been relaxing in a nice house and dressed in layers of gold and gems, silk, and fancy sandals. In our current world of mass consumerism (as I type this on my iPad Pro) the vast majority of us are too brand conscious to be minimalists. Can you see our distorted view and conflicted state of mind?
Just be honest with yourself, if you can. Many of us have absolutely no clue why we keep spinning around and around on this high-intensity wheel. Yes, we’re to work passionately and purposefully, but we’re supposed to also pause, take breaks, and breathe.
Life’s milestones missed. Memories not captured, others disappeared. Children once small, now grown. Many never feeling the blessing of parenthood. Elderly parents hidden away in nursing homes and facilities, with occasional visits from strange volunteers, not family—because family is too busy to slow down and connect. We then wonder where the time went, as it passed us by so quickly, that we begin desperately trying to grasp back to the past.
What are you taking for granted? The world will be here tomorrow, but will you be here in it?
Questions of the Day
1. What would you like to add to today’s prayer and/or reflection?
2. What are your thoughts about today’s message?
Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear and see what, and when! It would be awesome if whenever you run across a prayer, message, or scripture that moves you, you would kindly share it with the rest of us. You can post it on this blog or send me an email.
Copyright 2013-2016. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.(www.Lockman.org)
Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. The “CEB” and “Common English Bible” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Common. English Bible. Use of either trademark requires the permission of Common English Bible.
Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers