Look to God in turbulent times

The Florida weather this time of year is rainy! Not just that, it is filled with lightning and thunder. Loud clashing thunder. Shake you to the core, make you jump in your seat thunder. It scares my dog — and me.

Several years ago, I had an afternoon meeting in Daytona Beach.  I started my day in Atlanta and the only flight I could get was a direct flight to Tampa, with a ‘puddle jumper’ connection to Daytona Beach. The Atlanta-to-Tampa section of the flight was a smooth flying through clear skies. The short trip from Tampa to Daytona Beach was through one of these Florida rain/lightning/thunderstorms.

The small plane was buffeted through the air so violently, that it was all I could do to stay in my seat. The pilot kept apologizing for the turbulence.I kept hoping I would live long enough to reach the ground in one piece. Even as we finally made the approach, a gust of wind blew us sideways, and we had to quickly jerk back up and attempt to land again.

When we landed, I was overcome with gratitude for having my feet on the ground!

For a few seconds at least, I gave thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.  It was not half-hearted thanks; my heart was really in it. I was truly thankful. But then, I went on about my business and didn’t have such a ‘wholehearted’ thanks again for a good long time.

I wonder why giving thanks with one’s whole heart is difficult, or at the very least rare. My best theory is that it is far easier to be whole heartedly thankful if you have some sense of how precarious are those things for which we give thanks.

Prayer Focus

Moving from half-hearted thanks to wholehearted thanks.  Reflect on those things that claim your whole heart.

Prayer: More than going through the motions O God, I pray in thanksgiving for the wonderful gifts I have received.  I acknowledge that some of the best gifts, some of things I am most thankful for are the powerful tiny things that make a day special.   Amen.