As the season has turned from Thanksgiving to Christmas, it seems relevant to be generous with our thoughts and words, turning them towards those and that for which we are truly grateful.
Society is capable of pressing us into living life on the surface. Pace and priorities keep relationships at arms-length. Anger, bitterness and pain do the same. We learn to cope and protect our managed lives. In the end, we experience life that, candidly, comes up lacking.
An old saying caught my eye here recently. Attitude determines Altitude. I was actually reflecting on the irony of knowing folks who are successful in certain areas and yet have, well, crappy outlooks on life. Money can’t buy you happiness came to mind. In short order I was able to puke out a handful of platitudes. It felt empty and dry.
Does altitude = success? Of course not.
The pinnacle of life is peace. That ain’t no platitude! It’s the panacea – the top of the mountain – the highest level we can live. Every soul craves peace.
So where’s the path to peace and how does attitude fit in?
Gratitude changes attitude.
A grateful heart is perfectly positioned to love, pray, listen and care. A grateful mind is postured to learn, grow, create and dream. A grateful spirit is prepared to help, serve, be generous and available.
Gratitude. It changes our attitude and enables us to live at a higher level.
Scripture teaches us much on the subject. Kind David (Psalm 100) encourages us to come to God with thanksgiving and praise. Paul (Phil 4) reminds us to bring our anxious selves and every situation to God with thanksgiving.
Because God appreciates and even admires our awareness of things worthy of thanks. He, like us, is moved by grateful people.
And, in turn, He promises us peace. Peace that reigns over and rains down. Peace that is profound and sustaining. Peace that undergirds the hope of all humanity.
Some of us have known the hardest of seasons. For some of us, grief has been a recent reality. Others have known great calm and smooth sailing of late. Peace transcends all circumstances. Truthfully, peace has nothing to do with circumstance and everything to do with whom we stand.
On that first Christmas Eve, those poor, lowly yet fortunate shepherds outside Bethlehem witnessed a concert for the ages as a host of angels sang praises to God that resonate still with us today –
Glory to God in the highest, and peace among those with whom he is pleased
As the Christmas season unfolds I wish that very peace for you. May you experience the pleasure of His great affections for you and may you rest, in fact, sleep in heavenly peace.
Merry Christmas friends!