Thursday, November 20, 2008

The 151st good thing about Lagos: Thankful thoughts

Today I had my second Thanksgiving dinner here this year (though today it was at lunchtime). My ladies Bible study group had already finished our semester's course of study and so today we planned a Thanksgiving celebration, as the group won't meet next week on the real Thanksgiving day. We had been told to come prepared to tell the group five things that we are thankful for -- and we were supposed to think "outside the box" and not just list the usual stuff. For me, this was a really nice motivation to spend some time this past week thinking about what I would put on my list. Of course, it's difficult to reduce a list of blessings to merely five, but I kept a frequent tally on the back burner of my mind through the week and it made me more aware of how blessed I am as I lived each day. Our group had a sweet time today as we went around the room with everyone sharing their gratitude with each other. Many expressed gratitude for living in Lagos -- not because Lagos is such a great place to live, but because we can learn so much about life from living here. We learn to appreciate things that we once took for granted, but now often have to go without. We learn to be grateful for opportunities we have in life because we were born into more privileged circumstances than most of the people around us. We learn how to give up control, as here we are constantly at the mercy of traffic delays, power outages, plumbing breaks, no water coming through the taps, and so on. It reminds us of the importance of turning our will over to God and letting Him take control of our lives.

I think because I had concentrated for the week on having an "attitude of gratitude," I was really touched by one of the songs we sang today in our music worship time:

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One,
For He has given us Jesus Christ, His Son.
And now, let the weak say "I am strong."
Let the poor say "I am rich."
For He has given Jesus Christ, His Son.

We are all strong and rich and blessed through the gift of Jesus Christ. I'd like to encourage my readers who will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in a week (and also those who don't celebrate Thanksgiving), to think about what is on your list. What are you most thankful for? Life is sweeter when we live it aware of how blessed we are.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

I'm very grateful to have found your blog. I will be going to Nigeria in early 2009 as required by my work, and like you, I've heard mostly bad things about living in Nigeria. I was happy to find your blog concentrating on the good things. I've only read a couple entries so far, but plan to read more. Thanks for writing this!!