A New Perspective On Gratitude

"Would they have enough if all the 
fish in the sea were caught for them?"

~Numbers 11:22

It's suddenly become a very strange world to live in since the Corona Virus has arrived.  My family was sitting in the living room last Sunday morning, watching our church service on an iPad as so many have been doing for the last couple weeks.  Our pianist plays beautifully, but you can tell from the echo as she plays that there's nobody in the sanctuary, and the same with our pastor.  He gives a fine message every Sunday, but it's different.  Nobody there to laugh at his jokes. I look forward to getting back to church.  I think a lot of people are.  Sometimes we don't appreciate the things we have until they're gone.  

In our world today, we tend to complain without thinking rather than show gratitude.  It's a world of instant gratification, and if things aren't as perfect as we expect them to be we have a tendency to express our disapproval very freely. Unfortunately, when we live in that mindset we miss many of the good things in life--a lesson many of us have been learning the hard way over the last couple weeks.

This season will pass, and eventually we will leave our homes and return to society again.  When we do, we should think about all the things we missed while we were gone--both good and bad.  I sure miss my annoying co-workers--I really do!  I miss the cheerful young woman at the coffee shop.  And the bookstore!  Oh, how I miss the bookstore!  I've even complained a few times about that bookstore, but I can't wait to get back to it.  It's unlikely I'll complain about that bookstore any time soon.

Many Americans are missing the job they complained about endlessly.  We miss going to the restaurant with the bad service but excellent cuisine.  We miss the time to think in our cars as we're commuting to work each day.  Some of us are missing our paychecks altogether.  Some of us are frightened about getting sick, or having members of our family get sick.  Suddenly all those little petty complains and annoyances in life that filled our thoughts a couple weeks ago seem very far away and very unimportant. 

This virus has been a real slap awake for many of us about what's important, and what's not. Perhaps when all is said and done and life in America returns to some level of normalcy, we will remember the time when the world suddenly stopped and we realized, with tremendous gratitude, what we actually had all along.  Perhaps we'll learn from this crisis to be more grateful for the abundance that God has given us, and less likely to complain about those little things that really don't matter that much at all.