To celebrate the 4th of July, Sarah and I went to a firework show in Peabody, Ks. We’d heard a lot about their show and we were excited to see it first hand.
It was fun but it was also an hour drive home after the show.
And then we had to get all 3 kids tucked in, shower, and finally get ready for bed ourselves.
We ended up trying to go to sleep at around 1 in the morning. And as I started to drift off suddenly we hear.
Isn’t it funny how simple things can cause big frustrations?
I immediately went to why the offending party was in the wrong, how there was a curfew for fireworks anyways, and why they wouldn’t be more considerate.
And then a random thought hit me.
At least it’s not the sound of real mortars, cannon fire or IED’s going off.
Ironically I’d just spent the day celebrating our Independence. Literally posting about how grateful I was to live in a country where we were free and people defend the beautiful life that I get to live.
See here’s my problem.
Gratitude has a short memory.
For whatever reason there is just something about gratitude that doesn’t seem to last long. We just forget the good things that we have once we’ve had them for awhile.
This summer we are talking about the fruit of the Spirit in 252. This week we focused on goodness. Our storyteller spoke out of James 1:17 where he says “Every good and perfect gift is from God“. My point is that regardless of where you stand on patriotism or national pride, at the end of the day the good things about our country are a gift from God.
But I forget those and the countless other gifts I have, because gratitude has a short memory.
The Israelites had this problem too. Literally they were slaves in Egypt and God brought them into freedom.
Talk about an Independence Day.
But as they get ready to go into the Promised Land, God warns them through Moses in Deuteronomy 6:12.
“But be careful that you don’t forget the Lord. Remember that he brought you out of Egypt. That’s the land where you were slaves.”
Isn’t it interesting that Moses reminds them “that’s the land where you were slaves”. I’ve written before about how sometimes you need to remember the bad stuff to really appreciate the good that you’re experiencing right now.
But I think it goes one step farther.
When people have amnesia there’s a litany of different treatments and approaches that doctors and medical professionals take.
One of them is simply a broad labe, called Pyschotherapy or sometimes, “talk therapy”.
I like that.
My gratitude needs talk therapy.
It means that sometimes I don’t need to just post about it, I need to talk about what I’m grateful for.
I need to thank individual people.
I need to tell others, what God has done and is doing in my life.
Because even though gratitude may have a short memory when I hear a firework go off at night, I need to remember that it’s a reminder of my freedom not a source of my frustration.
I’m not saying you can’t expect certain things or hope for certain things or even ask or petition for things to get better.
All I’m saying is that before I do any of those things I need to “talk therapy” my sense of gratitude and say out loud the things that I’ve been gifted.