A Time-Out for Thankfulness

I’ve said it more than once:  I’m not the political head in this twosome, although my brother, JTR, has made me much more politically conscious.  Thanks in large part to his frequent allusions to the novel, our theater company is planning to produce the stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 next season.

But it’s Sunday, and after reading that intense and disturbing play

after reading about sequestration which doesn’t seem to corral anything–much less lead toward a solution…

after reading about the imminent collapse of our whole monetary system…I need a break.

Maybe you do, too.

This was also the week in which I began reading a book that’s gotten a lot of buzz lately:  Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.  You’ve probably seen the cover somewhere–it’s rather ubiquitous just now.  It was offered as a Nook Daily Find recently and I could no longer put it off. A good and bookish friend had recommended it several times, and though I have no business buying one more book–I did.

I’m so glad.

Voskamp is a writer of poetic prose, rich dense writing packed with images to savor slowly.  Reading even a whole chapter at a sitting is a bit like overindulging  on seafood bisque or dark chocolate mousse.  This book, a sort of dare to become intentionally and continually thankful, grew out of a long dark period of years during which the author was anything but thankful.  Hers has not been an insulated, Kodak-moment life.  And the pain gives her credibility with her readers, right from the start.

One of her most challenging statements (to my mind) is that:

“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other. Standing before that tree…we see only the material means to fill our emptiness. We don’t see the material world for what it is meant to be: as the means to communion with God….

If I’m ruthlessly honest, I may have said yes to God, yes to Christianity, but really, I have lived the no.  I have.  Infected by that Eden mouthful, the retina of my soul develops macular holes of blackness.”  

(Chapter One, One Thousand Gifts)

This reminds me of another favorite author, one who I mentioned last week. John Piper, in his wonderful book, A Hunger for God, and in many other places (because it’s one of his trademark quotes), says,

“God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”

Whether it’s John Piper speaking of spiritual fulfillment, Linda Dillow writing on contentment, or AnnVoskamp musing on gratitude,and challenging herself and thousands of others to detail a thousand thanks…the same paradox is in view:

To give up grasping after more and more, is to discover the abundance already in your lap.

Do you have four minutes today?  Spend it with this lovely video book “trailer”–a meditation in miniature on nurturing a heart-felt attitude of gratitude.

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8 responses to “A Time-Out for Thankfulness

  1. Would you mind if I reblogged this to my Tin Foil Hat Book Club? It’s at http://tinfoilhatbookclub.wordpress.com/

  2. Yup! We all need a break from time to time. And we need to return to the things we have to be thankful for. Thanks.

    For some reason, I am not able to view the embedded videos on your blog — lot’s of odd things afoot with WordPress, it seems. Or maybe it’s just something happening on my end. At any rate, I’d like to take four minutes to see an uplifting video. Could you share the link? Thanks!

  3. Thank you. Needed it today.

  4. Sometimes its just nice to remind ourselves that God is in control, regardless of what naive notions we have.

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