This Sunday I am preaching from the lectionary reading of Luke 15: 11-32. A familiar passage, known by almost everyone as The Prodigal Son passage. Each week I provide a bulletin outline for our attenders to follow along with the sermon and this week I am stressing the idea that if we have bad attitudes, problems occur in our spiritual lives.
That is why I close with stressing the importance of our having an attitude of gratitude for all that God has provided us with. What led me toward ending the sermon this way actually happened early in the week. I have started really using Instagram and have found a wonderful new world of people with many of the same interests as I have. It is through one of those new friends, who also posts scopes on Periscope, that I was challenged in an impactful way for the rest of Lent.
The challenge came from Rita who encouraged her followers on Periscope to take the month of March as a time to journal why we are grateful for something each day. She set up #thegratitudeproject, and each day we post something on Instagram with that hashtag. It has really been challenging for me. And we have been encouraged to really dig deep into what it is we are thankful for. My first post @revdougs was my being thankful for my Mom. My Mom has journaled for close to 80 years (she is 88) and she journals about her Bible study, her life, mine and my brothers lives, you name it. I have several of her journals and she has told me there are several boxes waiting for me at her apartment. I now journal daily using my moleskine notebook as well as my moleskine daily planner. And each day I have dug deep into what I have gratitude and thankfulness for. I encourage each and every one of you to do the same.
An attitude of gratitude is not something that is complicated. We just need to constantly remember that God has blessed each and every single one of us in a unique way. We have to slow down from the rapid pace of life and truly start listening to ourselves. What is it that makes us tick? What gives us that reason for moving forward from one day to the next? Start spending time defragging your mind from the clutter of the ordinary and opening yourself to the extraordinary world that God has for each of us. Journaling is one of the greatest tools to make that happen.