I like to start off my day by thanking God for the basics: “Father, thank You for my health. Thank You for my children. Thank You for my family. Thank You for my home. Father, thank You for all you’ve done for me.” Even when I pray, most of my praying these days is simply giving God thanks.
God already knows your needs. He already knows what you’re going to say before you say it. There’s nothing wrong with asking God for things - the Scripture clearly instructs us to look to Him to meet our needs – but we should spend more time praising Him for His goodness than requesting His goodies. We should spend more time giving God thanks for what He’s already done than we do asking Him to do new things.
A young man with whom I used to play basketball started having a problem with his eye. He went to the doctor and was diagnosed as having cancer in the eye. Since it seemed a high probability that he was going to lose his vision, he was devastated. In surgery, the doctors discovered that rather than cancer, the problem was an extremely unusual fungus that they were able to remove and save his vision. When the young man heard the good news, he said, “This is the greatest day of my life.’
Think about it. He had simply received the news that he could continue to see. If you can see and hear, if you are healthy, if you have family and friends, if you’ve got a job, food, and a place to live, learn to appreciate those things. Thank God for all you have.
What Matters Most
People say to me, I don’t have enough time to get everything done as it is, let alone spend time with my family.” That’s true, but when you come to the end of your life, you’re still going to have things to do. Your schedule will never slow down on its own. You must make time for what matters most. If you don’t schedule time for the people you love, nobody will do it for you.
Without fail, people who have gone through life-threatening diseases all talk about the same thing – how much more they appreciate each day. They realize that every new sunrise is a gift from God. We need to realize that in a moment, we could be gone. We need to learn to live each day to the fullest, as though it could be our last.
It’s easy to think, I can’t be happy. I don’t have anything exciting going on. But if your loved one got sick, or you lost your job, you would long for the mundane. You would long to get back to where you are right now. Why not make a decision to be grateful for what God has done in your life? Don’t take” normal” life for granted. Don’t wait until something is taken away before you really appreciate what you have.
Learn to enjoy what God has given you. Take time for the people you love. Quit working all the time. When you come to the end of your life, you will never regret having spent time with your family. Nobody ever says on their deathbed, “If I had to do it again, I’d spend more time at the office.”