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Filling my empty with praise and thanksgiving

The sapphire blue sky served as a brilliant backdrop to the snow that reflected the light of the sun, creating a world of glitter and sparkle. Each breath could be seen hanging in the air as my breathing evened out and my feet pounded the pavement. I could see the ice crystals forming on my eyelashes, a contrast of my perspiring face to the brutal cold temperatures.

God’s presence was vast in the beauty of that morning as my feet created a new path in the fresh snow. This is my happy place, running on a cold snowy morning. I turned off my podcast and just basked in the beauty of God’s magnificent creation on that picturesque sunny morning. My heart was singing with praise and thanksgiving while time slowed down as I was totally immersed in that moment.

Fast forward to the afternoon. I went to a local shopping mart to get a couple of items. I was in a hurry, because there were a million things still to be done that afternoon. I always feel so busy, there is never enough time.

I only had to get two items so I wouldn’t need a cart, a basket would be plenty. I could feel my irritation rise a bit when once again there were no baskets. It’s fine I thought, I only need those two things.

I grabbed the honey first and saw the apple cider vinegar beside it and remembered I would need that soon so I grabbed it too. By the time I reached the paper towels, the second item I needed, my arms were juggling too many items and my irritation had grown that there were no baskets available. Ugh! I realized I wasn’t going to be able to carry the paper towels too, so I walked all the way back to the front of the store to get a cart.

The whole way back to the paper towels I lamented that this store never had baskets. Other stores did, why couldn’t this store keep those available. I am in a hurry and need that basket!

After more shopping, that filled a cart by the way, I went to check out. Two of the checkouts were manned and only one side was open for self-checkout. All three had lines back into the merchandise part of the aisles. By this time I am pretty fed up with the store, blaming them for stealing my valuable time.

‘”We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.” Psalm 39:6a NLT

Sometimes I think I lead a life so full it feels empty. I wake up and get as many of the things done as I can and then I go to bed and start over the next morning. Where is the abundance in that life?

When I look back at the contrast of these two events on this one day, I had my aha moment. My morning run was full of praise and thanksgiving in one of my favorite places to be. I was so immersed in that moment time slowed down, it became a holy moment with God. Somehow though I lost that moment, and my afternoon became my more typical go, go and go more. No time to bask in God’s glory there.

Could it be that the secret to more holy time with God is simply praise and thanksgiving? Is it possible that if I spend more time intentionally praising Him and giving Him the thanks He deserves that I will live a more abundant life with time enough to do everything He wants me to do?

I want to find out.

Holy father, help me to be intentional in finding your gifts this week. Fill my heart with a desire to praise you in the big moments and small, in the great things that happen and the moments that try to steal my joy. Give me eyes that see all that there is to be thankful for. Amen.

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