Christmas is coming, but Thanksgiving is only over if you let it be over. Today is Black Friday and the official “start” to the Christmas season. Most sales are online this year given the circumstances, but I am still struck by some advice I got at one of Abby’s college visits. She went to visit at High Point University three weekends ago and the president gave a two-hour motivational talk. Nido Qubein (https://www.azquotes.com/author/21950-Nido_R_Qubein), was a leadership coach and motivational speaker before he became University President for then High Point College (a United Methodist School). It was a good talk. One of the points I took away was a practice that he has. He is a University President and so obviously we know that in a hierarchy, gripes go up. He said he keeps a clicker in his pocket. And when someone who is meeting with him starts whining and complaining, he immediately pulls the clicker out and starts clicking. He is not trying to dismiss their concern, although I’m certain it could feel that way, he wants to make the point that it is impossible to whine and have gratitude and thanksgiving at the same time. What is interesting is - this guy is a great leader - not “pie in the sky.”
Things that are frustrating and wrong need to be addressed - and whining and complaining buries us deeper in the problem and robs us of the joy of thanksgiving and gratitude for the opportunity of the moment. Every moment has an opportunity in it and we don’t want to miss the moment.
The point - make space for gratitude. Hold onto thanksgiving about God’s love and presence in this world and in your life. Protect your heart for thanksgiving from all enemies (foreign and domestic 😊). Gratitude and complaining can’t live in the same space - so let gratitude rise above and draw you nearer to the heart of God.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; God’s love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34
Grace and Peace