"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) That is one of my favorite verses. It's a verse I strive to live by. A goal I fall short of time and time again.
Sure, it's easy to be happy, thankful, and full of praise during the good times. But what about the bad times, the sad times, the times when things aren't going my way? I mean, how is it even possible to be happy ALL the time? To pray constantly? How am I supposed to be thankful despite the crappy situations life brings? What if I don't wanna be happy, or prayerful, or grateful?!
I was driving back to school, returning from Christmas break- particularly in a bad mood. The station I was listening to was getting fuzzy, so I hit scan and landed upon a local Christian radio station. Let me tell you, I felt like God was speaking right to my heart through those junky car speakers. The voice on the radio was talking about being thankful in all situations and finding the positive in everything, even the littlest things. Wow. OK God, maybe I'll give it a try.
It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of the college experience. If you've ever asked me, I'm usually brutally honest in sharing my feelings about the whole thing. My negative attitude towards school is one of my biggest flaws. And after hearing the man on the radio sharing, I felt convicted. So I decided it was time to make a change. Instead of grumbling and complaining, I started thanking God for the opportunity to get an education, for the chance to better myself, for the shot to get a degree and maybe make something of my future. I started saying thank you for the people and experiences (good and bad) that I've come across along the way, that helped me grow as a person. I started thanking God for the legs that he gave me to walk a mile and a half to my first class at 8am in subzero temperatures (and even that extra insulation that helps keep me warm. Ha!) I started thanking God for the little things that I tend to take for granted every day.
And you know what? Being thankful has made all the difference! I've been told lots of times before that it's all in the attitude, but really, it is. It's simple: If you're thankful, you're happy. If you're thanking God, you're praying. I can honestly say that the past three weeks have been the best three weeks of college I've ever had. Nothing is different, nothing except my attitude. "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances." It IS possible.