A deep breath of cool, crisp autumn air.
A breath of air is such a little thing, a very small detail of life indeed. Something I take for granted about 18,000 times a day, but couldn’t survive without!
Comparing a custom built home to a tract house in an episode of "This Old House", master craftsman Tommy Silva said, "The difference is in the details, it's a sure sign of craftsmanship." If you want to build a quality house you have to pay attention to the little things and get those right. That's true in our lives as well.
Jesus told a parable about little things in Matthew 25. A man entrusted some money to several of his servants and went away. The servants were expected to provide the master with a return on his investment. To those who were good stewards, the master said, "Well done... you've been faithful with a few things; now I will put you in charge of many things."
One of the principles we can draw from this is: take care of the little things and you'll be able to handle the big ones. It's not much of a stretch to apply this to thanksgiving. Are you grateful for each breath, do you recognize each gift as though it is from the Master Craftsman’s hand?
I find it hard to be truly thankful for the big things in life when I'm not genuinely grateful for the little things.
I also don't want to confuse politeness with giving thanks to God. Our culture dictates that we say 'please' and 'thank you' a lot, and sometimes we may even mean it! Too often it is an auto response, devoid of any real meaning.
Boy, I don't want to approach God that way, even on one of those little things.
So how do we keep a thankful perspective, especially during the holiday season?
It’s all too easy to focus solely on the 'big' things; or on the contrary, to concentrate completely on the details and get way down in the weeds.
Pray for balance this year, for the ability to see the forest AND appreciate that without the detail of each branch on every tree there would be no beautiful forest.
Join me in expressing heartfelt gratitude to God across the spectrum of life; for each breath of that fragrant fall air, for a master craftsman who pays attention to each detail, to the wonderful incarnation of God coming to Earth to save a bunch of sinners like you and me.