In a way, this has been an undertone of many of my posts, but I really want to emphasize the importance and the beauty of thankfulness.
I think all too often we see thankfulness only as something that we should do. It becomes a duty, a rote reminder of the things we have that we should not take for granted. In striving to be thankful for our blessings, we actually invite guilt. We scold ourselves for wanting or complaining when there are so many other things for which we should feel grateful.
There are some nights when the loneliness of life seems to close in on us. We feel without voice and without friend. In these nights, God waits with us. He listens tirelessly to our complaints, our woes and our worries; the sorrows yet unspoken and tears thus far masked. He offers comfort and provides pure peace.
In times of hurt, we turn to Him, to ease our suffering. In desperate wanting, dreary dissatisfaction, anger, fear, uncertainty… we call His name and cry for things we think we need. We ask for what we do not know to come. We wish for a future unfolded and fair, for dreams brought within our grasp, lowered to our height. We pray for peace and healing for the ones we cherish most.
But after these prayers leave our lips, do we ever dwell on them again? Do we remember the things we once wanted? The problems or concerns that once consumed our lives? As we enter a new season, our circumstances may shift, bringing new rain and new flowers, dispelling the old from our mind.
Today I have decided to write about food, because as I type these words, I feel pleasantly full and am thinking about what I have eaten fondly. Is it alright to enjoy food? How much should we enjoy eating? How often (if at all) should we consume foods which we know are unhealthy for us? These questions are very prevalent in our current culture, and I think that the answers of many to the above questions would lean towards the negative.
But I think that food is a gift. And upon receiving a gift, the recipients are expected to appreciate said gift. A good gift-giver only gives gifts that they think will benefit and please the person to whom they give this gift. In this case, God has given us food, and the diversity of flavours He has created demonstrates that eating is about more than just bodily preservation. We do need food to survive, but God has also given us food as something to enjoy and appreciate with joyfulness. He has given us this gift to share.
There is something so undeniably precious about a memory. Experiences do not define us, but they also do not disappear once the laughter has faded. Memories are ours to hold… to treasure and play out in the image of the mind. A certain sadness often accompanies an end, even if the end is welcomed or expected. Perhaps this pertains to our reluctance to change, our longing to stay stagnant and at ease, without risk or worry.
But the end is not the end. Not really. Our memories belong to us. The ones we look after become a piece of who we are. There is beauty in the beauty that we now can only see in snatches, beauty in the beauty that once was and now exists only in our minds. There is beauty because no beauty, if felt, can really leave us. There is beauty, because after the experience is over, there is gratitude: the overwhelming feeling of thankfulness that God has given us good things and will continue to give if we let Him.
I never want to forget about beauty.
I never want to forget about light- any kind of light… the way it gleams through cracks in doorways and glistens through the blinds. Colours dancing on the walls, and soft and peaceful shades. I don’t want complacency to keep me seated and sure in things in which I have found nothing before.
Even when joy flickers on my eyelids, I blink and only darkness. Only for a second. But I let the evil enter. I listen. I let it shade my solitude, allow it access to my thoughts. I want to control or to ignore it. Control is fleeting, because I cannot attain it, though I try with endless run-throughs and sickly waves of guilt. Ignorance is no better, for it smothers my joy, holds her back just a little. It puts restrictions on my freedom, imposes limits on my peace.
This is not the life I want. This is not the choice I want to make.