Monday, March 2, 2015

Lenten Devotion -- Monday, March 2

Day 12


"The Attitude of Gratitude" is almost a trite phrase. But that should not diminish it's impact. The attitude we carry colors our perception. If we are looking for things to be grateful for, we will find more. Conversely if we looking for things to worry about, fear, distrust, etc. we'll find those too.

God made us this way. In God's infinite wisdom, he also gave us free will. God allows us to choose how we live our lives... It is up to us to make choices that bring us closer to God.

On a completely different topic: it's hard to be Christian and of Egyptian descent sometimes. I cannot, in good conscience, pray:
who struck Egypt through their firstborn,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
or
but overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,[b]
    for his steadfast love endures forever;


One of the first things I'm going to ask God is going to be: What did we do to deserve this? I mean, I know it's complicated and God needed for the Israelites to go through this ordeal to complete their journey to being God's people (or start it depending on how you look at the story.) But if a people (the Egyptians) was destined to oppress God's people to show God's people the error of their ways and strengthen their trust in God, why then punish that people (the Egyptians) for fulfilling that destinies?

Now: I get that there's a lot more to the story, and that the history bears study and scrutiny to get he whole picture. But that's the hardest part of Biblical history for me to accept.

Back to gratitude: I am, however, grateful that God's plan for salvation is all inclusive to all who seek it. That that plan is just as open to those of us with doubts as those of us with unshakable faith in all aspects of Biblical history.
Questions for reflection:
  1. What are the biggest blocks to thankfulness in your life, and how have you overcome them?
    1. Oblivion (not focusing on "The attitude of Gratitude": looking for opportunities to be grateful and changing my perception.
    2. Pride: working on humility. For those that know me: that's a hard one! :)
    3. Getting caught up in the fears that the World keeps throwing at us: working on putting those fears into perspective.
  2. Make a list in writing or out loud of 10 things you’re thankful for, and use the refrain from this psalm for each one.
    1. Family
      for his steadfast love endures forever.
    2. A wide network of friends
      for his steadfast love endures forever.
    3. Church
      for his steadfast love endures forever.
    4. Relative Affluence and comfort
      for his steadfast love endures forever.
    5. Living in a time and place where I can freely practice my faith and express my thoughts
      for his steadfast love endures forever.
    6. A relatively secure future
      for his steadfast love endures forever.
    7. The Saints that have gone before me, that have informed my faith
      for his steadfast love endures forever.
    8. Living in a time and place that challenges my complacency and forces me to explore my boundaries
      for his steadfast love endures forever.
    9. Technology that allows us to be connected, worldwide, 24X7
      for his steadfast love endures forever.
    10. This opportunity to reflect on my Lenten Journey
      for his steadfast love endures forever.

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