Maybe you've felt taken for granted by:
- Your spouse. Perhaps the "thank you's" are rare, while the complaints are being expressed far too often.
- Your children. A child shows little appreciation for what you've done for him but complains strongly when you have not done exactly what he wants.
- Your parents. Maybe they show little interest in who you are as a person.
- Your friend. You are the one who usually initiates anything that you do together.
- Your company. You have high standards for your work but do not feel appreciated by those for whom you work.
- Your church. You have served in a variety of roles with little thanks.
What would God's list look like? This morning, I think about how often he is taken for granted. I think about how often I take him for granted. At this moment, I would like to step in and declare that I am a very grateful person. Grateful to God for every breath he has given me. But--that wouldn't be true. Far too often I have taken God for granted.
After all, I certainly don't like being taken for granted. Yet, this happens to most of us and maybe quite often. I can brood about this or just accept that even God experiences this.
Maybe by the grace of God, I can do what God does. After all, he does not take his creation for granted but continues to love and sustain us each day. I don't want to take people for granted either.
- I don't want to take the woman at the cleaners for granted.
- I don't want to take the clerk at Target for granted.
- I don't want to take my wife or children for granted.
- I don't want to take the Crestview church for granted.
- I don't want to take God's gifts for granted.
- I don't want to take God himself for granted.
I don't want to take my life or the people in my life for granted because that is so unlike God.
Tomorrow, our daughter Christine will have been married one year. She married a wonderful young man, Phillip. They are both committed Christ-followers. I take none of that for granted. And---I don't want to ever take them for granted. I want to appreciate Christine and Phillip and be thankful for who they are. It is important that they hear that I appreciate them. It is not enough to just think about it.
People are not mind readers. If I appreciate someone, I really need to tell them. Far too many people rarely hear a word of appreciation from their parents, their children, their church, etc. How does that change? It begins in my little corner of the world.
Today, I want to be grateful to God for who he is and for the many good moments I will experience today.
Today, I want several people in my world to hear the words, "Thank you."
(I am also wondering, why do churches often seem to take people for granted? Why is it that in some churches people rarely hear a "thank you"? Maybe I'm off here, but I sense there are many in churches who really don't feel appreciated.)