No doubt we can all vividly remember exactly what we were doing years ago on that difficult September 11th. And if we are old enough, chances are we can also remember exactly where we were and what they were doing the day President Kennedy was shot and the morning of the Challenger disaster. These were all national tragedies and appropriately they are regularly remembered with important commemorations.
But as our country recalled the terrible events of 9/11, I got to thinking about how easy it is for me (and maybe you) to remember and commemorate the difficult occasions of life. The “tough stuff” makes such an impression on us; we mull it over and over as we consider the loss or pain of the event. Of course, there is certainly nothing wrong with those kinds of remembrances. There are lessons to be learned and heroes to honor.
My concern though has to do with our focus. We often tend to commemorate the difficult, worrisome, dangerous, and painful things of life. The sensational gets and holds our attention, sometimes to the detriment of rehearsing the joys of life.
So I am writing today to urge all of us to remember the blessings of our lives, to reiterate their importance and commemorate them!
Let’s start with life itself. You drew a breath this morning, and it was a gift. In the old hymn “My Jesus, I love Thee,” the song writer wrote, “I will love thee in life, I will love Thee in death, and praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath.” Did you thank God for that lung full of air? Did you stop even for a moment and thank Him for another day?
Likely you rode in a car to work or school today. While the gas may have been expensive, you probably sat in an air conditioned environment with music playing in the back ground. You quickly moved from place to place. Can you imagine having to walk everywhere? Did the blessing of transportation grab your attention?
Even in an economic environment when some folks are losing their homes, most of us still have a great roof over our head. Our children lie safely in warm beds at night. There is plenty of food on the table. Health care is readily available. The list goes on and on…
So, I am suggesting a family commemoration this week to the MANY blessings from the Lord. Set aside a night and make one long list of all the wonderful things God has done (and is doing) for you and your family. Take that list, celebrate the joy of each item and commemorate the wonders of His love.
Like the Psalmist, cry out ”Praise the Lord O my soul and all that is within me, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:1-2)