It’s Saturday morning! For once in a quite a long time, I don’t have anywhere I have to be. So, I’m in my pjs, the television is on, but I’ve not found anything to capture my attention. My dog Diamond is all snuggled beneath the comforter and I just realized that my paycheck was deposited (winning) in my account. That means I can get my Thanksgiving shopping done today rather than Monday night or Tuesday morning.
I’m excited about Thanksgiving. On the surface, I get paid time off from work to eat! But in all seriousness, it signals a time in our country when many pause if just for a few hours to celebrate life, family, friends and gratitude. I started in January filling a mason jar of things I’m grateful for. I’m excited that as the end of the year approaches, I get to open the jar and reflect upon the many blessings God granted over the year. I’ve been tempted to open the jar on many occasions. Particularly when things in my life were blowing out of control. However, the visual of the folded pieces of paper have spawned me to as the ancestors would say, “go another further.” God’s promises are sealed upon my life, just as I will continue to seal those blessings until the appointed time of reflection (NYE).
During the holiday season, its often difficult to be affirmed and grateful for what you have. The commercialism and the societal pressure to spend can be overwhelming. Add to that memories of people in your life who have passed away or walked away, and you may find yourself positioned for the perfect quiet storm. When we find ourselves in a storm, we are encouraged to take cover. “Taking cover” involves taking care of yourself, seeking safe shelter and positioning self to survive the storm. Additionally, when we find ourselves in a storm with others around, we must remember to be of assistance to them as well.
During the holiday season (or storm) depending upon your perspective, spend less money on stuff and instead invest more in others. Connect with a friend that you’ve been phone tagging or liking statuses on Facebook; spend time with someone whose lost a loved one, get them out of the house and provide space for them to just talk, while you listen; volunteer some time for an organization that is helping those in need – make a plan to volunteer more than the holidays and incorporate it into your plans for the new year. Create avenues to contribute to someone else’s jar being filled.
The widow woman in the 2 Kings 4, had nothing. She was instructed by Elisha to borrow jars from her neighbors, shut her door and fill them with a small bottle of oil she had left. The woman assumed what she possessed was insignificant. She had no idea that as she began to fill the jars with oil that she would actually run out of jars before oil.
What do you have to fill someone else? How might you be a blessing to someone? I am foolish enough to believe that as you fill someone else, God will fill you. Life is so precious and even a small moment of your time can alter the trajectory of someone else. Practice gratitude beyond the auditory declaration. Psalm 90:12 reads, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Fill the jar and expect an overflow in their life and yours!