Here in Canada, we’re getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving on the weekend. (I like that ours is a good deal earlier than Christmas, unlike in the U.S.) So this is my Thanksgiving post. :) I don’t know whether this anecdote is true but it’s still a very effective parable that I wanted to share with you…
In Budapest, a man went to the minister and complained: “Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?” The minister answered: “Take your goat into the room with you.” The man was incredulous, but the minister insisted. “Do as I say and come back in a week.”
A week later, the man returned to the minister, even more distraught than before. “We cannot stand it,” he said. “The goat is filthy!” The minister instructed: “Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week.”
A radiant man returned to the minister a week later, exclaiming: “Life is beautiful! We enjoy every minute of it now that there’s no goat, only the nine of us.”
Sometimes we forget to be grateful for what we have—or we don’t even recognize our blessings—because we’re too busy complaining about our circumstances and wishing they were different. But a little change in perspective can make a huge difference.
Speaking of complaining, this past weekend I attended a women’s retreat where I was helping out as part of the planning committee and as an emcee. My friend Fernanda created beautiful Bible verse prints for all the attendees—a different one for each woman! When I saw mine, my first thought was, Hmm. Interesting choice. It’s not the most uplifting verse in the Bible. But a second later, I knew that it was the best verse she could have chosen for me. (And, no, she wasn’t trying to send me a message!)
A “nice” verse would have grabbed my attention for a few seconds and then sat prettily on my shelf. This one? I couldn’t shake it all weekend. It felt like God had handed me a heart-flashlight. I found myself checking every response I made to see if I was grumbling.
You know what? It was a real challenge. And that’s great! I could have grumbled about the verse (which would have been painfully ironic) or I could have been thankful for it. I chose the latter.
As Thanksgiving rolls around this weekend, let’s all take time to thank God for everything. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, let’s give thanks anyway! God is good . . . all the time.
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Before I sign off, I want to share a few freebies with you. A week or so ago, I had a fun little quiz on my Facebook page and I promised the winners I’d create digital images of their favourite verse or Bible quote. Below are the final results, which you are free to use and share as well. (The first one features a Montreal sunset I shot a couple of years ago.)
[P.S. Don't forget about the giveaway for my new book, Truth, Dare, Double Dare going on until Wednesday!]