Thursday, July 13, 2023

Be Thankful In All Circumstances

 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Thessalonians  5:18

For a variety of reasons we have had to change our walk from this beautiful lake to a local, let’s be honest, rather decrepit 

Mall.  No beautiful views of the lake and surrounding hills, no fresh air, no wild flowers and no gently gliding sailboats. 

Instead we walk past stores on dirty floors in what seems like an endless boring round. We often marvel that the mall hasn’t closed. So many businesses have shut their doors, and the only real interest lies in watching new businesses come in a burst of optimism only to close down a few months later. We’ve decided there’s just enough commerce to keep it going, but it does make walking easy.

In a valiant effort to follow Paul’s advice and be thankful in all circumstances, I’ve compiled the following gratitude list:

  1. It’s kind of nice to watch the mall come to life as we walk. There’s something sort of cozy about watching the shop owners arrive and open their doors to a new day. 
  2. We’ve gotten to know some of those shop owners and on each round we share a smile and a friendly greeting. The dapper man who works in the jewelry store often offers us a cup of freshly made coffee as we walk past his store.
  3. Some of the other walkers have become friends of a sort. We exchange greetings and words of encouragement - especially with the sweet lady who walks leaning over her walker determined to get her four rounds in.
  4. Smiling at shoppers can actually be a “ministry.” If you can manage to catch their eyes, even the most solemn will smile in return. It’s amazing how a smile can transform a face - like a tiny miracle. 
  5. With a bit of imagination you can create stories about the people you see regularly - giving them a life of sorts.
  6. If the Lord gives you an unavoidable “nudge,” you can   pray for a shopkeeper who is facing surgery.
  7. I must admit, as our temperatures seem stuck at triple digits, it’s a blessing to walk in an air conditioned space.

So there you have it. I confess, I miss the old walk - but this one will do. I’m also thankful we’re still putting one foot in front of the other.