On Christmas you might get up and plop yourself down in front of the tree and stare at all the gifts and wonder which ones were yours. You would be anxiously waiting for everyone to get out of the bed so you could open your gifts. Then as your first gift was handed to you you tore into it like nobody’s business! You finally get the paper off and see that it’s a...... Not what you wanted and you set it to the side and prepared yourself for the next one! It’s finally your turn again and you are handed your next gift and you also tear into it to find..... a pack of socks so you toss it into the unwanted pile! You go a few more times until all the packages have been opened and at the end you may or may not have gotten what you really wanted. You sit there staring at the pile of gifts not really knowing who gave you what so you aren’t sure who to thank if you really even cared to begin with. You try to decide what is the first toy that you’re going to play with only to set it aside 10 minutes later and never really play with it again.
Were you this kid? Are your kids like this now? I’m sure most kids are like this to some extent. They are so focused on the big gift at the back of the tree or the next one in line they really don’t pay attention to the smaller gifts that they’ve just ripped the paper off of and tossed into the pile. They really don’t care about the insignificant smaller toys because they just want to get to their next unopened gift. Kids will be kids and I totally understand that they do this.
Why do we do this same thing though?
“Where is he going with this?” you might be asking because you don’t open gifts like this anymore.
I want to compare this to life and how often times we are so focused and consumed with a goal or a vision that we often overlook the smaller more important things in life. Sure, goals are good to have but sometimes we miss the smaller more significant things in life that we should be thankful for. We often get in such a big hurry that we take everyday life for granted. We are looking for tomorrow so much that we don’t live today and forget the fact that tomorrow may not come for us.
I know fairly often that I take certain things for granted. I often get in a hurry and overlook someone’s need or stuggle. I might get so engulfed into something that I can’t see anything else around me and miss something even more important. I often forget how short life can be and that it could all end in the blink of an eye.
How can we improve this?
For starters... sometimes we just need to slow down and actually see and acknowledge what’s going on around us. Is there a friend or family member that’s struggling that we can help? Is there a kid’s event that you should be attending or a game you should be cheering at? Is there a night that you could take off work early to go to dinner with the wife or a Saturday that you could miss to go to the beach? All of these simingly small things can help us in our effort to slow down and stop trying to live life so fast.
Secondly, be thankful for the small things. Be thankful to be able to wake up and breathe and have food to eat. Be thankful that you have a roof over your head and a great family. Just simply be thankful that you’re here and you have these things because there are many that may not have the same luxuries as you and yet they may be thankful for what they do have.
It’s often tough to slow down and be thankful when things may not be going your way....trust me I know. It will take focus and discipline to be able to do it consistently. I still struggle with it myself but I work on it daily. I often have days where things don’t go my way and I fail to be thankful for what has gone right.
Take this lesson from me so that you can be the best you that you can be and the best you that you can be to those around you!