Have you notice how easy it is to gripe rather than express gratitude? As I read The Message version of Colossians 3:15 ( Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness.) one day, I kept been drawn to the word cultivate. It made be think of gardening and how one has to work hard at breaking up the ground before planting seeds. But the work of gardening doesn’t just stop when the seeds are sown but it requires continuous care to keep the weeds from snuffing out the life of the good plants.
Thinking about gardening brings up memories of my grandmother, she meticulously tended and groomed her garden and kept her grounds free of leaves. I often wondered why she was so obsessed with raking the leaves. Back then it seemed like she was out picking up leaves daily even when you could easily count just 5 or 6 leaves floating around. Persistent and consistent in her watch of the landscape, she did not allow the weeds or leaves to overtake her ground.
Like my grandmother or Big Mama as we called her, I need to be ever on the look out for things that would come to smother out gratitude in my life. It does not take much effort to think of something to complain about but I have to work at seeing the good and expresses thanks for it. Rather easy to take a peek at another person’s garden and get excited about the glitz and glam of their fruit but when is the last time you have examined the good fruit of your ground? Romans 12:6b says, in his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Have you thought about that grace? I always thought of grace from the perspective of underserved mercy and salvation and that certainly defines grace. But His grace also equips me with certain gifting. Can I be honest for a moment? I am guilty of looking at the gift of others and sizing myself up as coming up short. I so wish I had the gift of gab (as I call it) like my mom or the gift of encouragement like my sister but I was not graced with it. So I can either gripe about it while neglecting my own gifts or I can get about the business of cheering them on while cultivating my gifts.