- “No matter what a woman does, a younger woman will always walk into the room” _Ash Wednesday, Paramount film 1973, (from When No One Sees by Os Guinness, p. 188)
Leviticus 22-29-30 (NKJV)
29 And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it of your own free will. 30 On the same day it shall be eaten; you shall leave none of it until morning: I am the LORD.
Today’s quote brings a chuckle. It reminds us to lighten up a bit. It is easy to find ourselves working so hard to maintain a self-imposed standard that we rob ourselves of the benefit of our efforts.
For example, God reminds us in our bible verses today to offer up thanksgiving of our own free will. Only we humans have the privilege of being thankful and yet with that privilege comes the danger of making it duty and work.
Like the woman who is working so hard to stay young, we can work hard at doing thankfulness right. Doggedly and grimly we keep up with how many things we’re thankful for. We number them, we rate them and we compare our thankfulness against other people’s ingratitude and feel smug. And then the bubble burst as someone comes along who is more thankful that we are.L What little joy and benefit we had for all our effort evaporates.
Listen to God today! He doesn’t give a lot of conditions, rules and regulations about how to be thankful – He simply says, “Just be thankful.” Do it because you really are thankful. The goal is not to top your last effort at being thankful or to be more thankful than someone else or to show God how spiritual and holy you are. Instead, like a little child with a new discovery, delight yourself in the blessings and benefits and faithfulness of your Father God and tell him (and others) about it.
That is really what Sabbath is about. Don’t make this Sabbath month complicated with a lot of self-imposed expectations.
Sabbath living is not so much about “getting it right” but rather about rejoicing in what God has done right.
Resting in Him,
P.S. If you’d like to try your hand at a little poetry here
is a good “thankful” poem…
Glory be to God for dappled things-
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wing;
Landscape plotted and pieced-fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
_Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Classic Hundred Poems All-Time Favorites by Editor William Harmon, p. 201