A humble walk with God
Gratitude, thankfulness, has become a thing these days. On Facebook I see so many of my friends and colleagues posting about people and things they are thankful about. They are doing it intentionally, as a kind of spiritual practice.
I am sure they are doing it because of a book that has recently been written by Diana Butler Bass called, of course, “Gratitude.” Bass is a wonderful writer and student of the intersection of cultural and church trends. I haven’t read this book, yet, but I am a big fan of her work. I am sure she has touched a lot of people by stressing that in these days of heated rhetoric and divisive political opinions maybe we need to touch some other chords of our lives.
Like being thankful. Like being intentional about giving thanks. Like not taking people or relationships for granted. And this being a devotional, like not taking God for granted.
Isaiah 55:6 tells us, “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.” We can too easily assume that God is always going to be there, to be our own private teddy bear to cuddle and take care of us. We may forget that God has something that God wants us to do. Like doing justice. Like loving kindly. Like walking humbly with God.
Walking humbly with God. What a concept.
A lot of times we just use God like we use everything else to make ourselves look good or to back up our own previously held positions. We trot God out to defend our politics, to defend our country, to defend our president, to defend— whatever. We forget that maybe a humble walk with God would be challenging as well as comforting. Maybe a humble walk with God would teach us to be thankful for what we have, rather than complaining about what we don’t. Maybe walking humbly with God would teach us to be thankful for the relationships we have, rather than the ones that have gone sour. Maybe walking with God would teach us not to assume that God agrees with us about everything, but maybe God has something new to teach us about ourselves, about others, about taking care of this fragile planet.
November is a great time to be thankful: to be thankful for all those who fought for our freedoms, and to remember those who didn’t come home. To be thankful for opportunities to serve through the many programs our community organizations have to lift up the fallen, house the homeless and feed the hungry. To gather around the table on the 28th with family and friends, and maybe people we don’t know every well; to share what we have so that others are taken care of.
For being thankful is not just for what we have. But to share and serve.
Rev. Dr. Tom Robinson is pastor of Farmville Presbyterian Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.