On the Race we were told about the Thankful Game. In the moments when times got tough, ministry wasn’t what you expected, travel days were going wrong, your walk with the Lord was just off… play the Thankful Game.
I don’t remember how many times I played the Thankful Game on the Race. But in the 189 days since I’ve been home, I’ve played it every single day.
Every morning on my commute to work I play the Thankful Game. I challenge myself to just say “Thanks” to God and not ask Him for anything. Too often our prayers to Him are talking AT Him, asking Him for things we want. Too often we forget not only to slow down and listen to Him, but so often we forget to remember all He has already given us.
Coming back from the World Race I was quiet.
I didn’t know what to say because there was so much to say. I legitimately avoided going out and seeing people because I was so overwhelmed by what I had just done for the past 11 months. Had it been real? Was it a dream? Did I just blink and suddenly I’d fast forwarded a year? What was my life? Was it real? Was it real? Was it real?
When I walked back into my house and re-entered my room for the first time, I just stood there and stared at my bed. There was a bed in my room. It was gigantic. It was safe. It was warm. It was comfortable. I had a bed.
You don’t know how amazing beds are until you’ve lived on the floor for months on end. Wiggled around on your hot and sticky sleeping pad until you found a “comfortable position.” And by comfortable I mean something that allowed you to pretend like you weren’t actually sleeping on the floor in 90degree weather, sweating, knowing you were going to wake up the next morning sore and in pain. I cannot tell you how deeply we slept when we were blessed with a bed, even for a night.
So now, every night since I’ve been back, I crawl in and praise God for my bed. Every. Single. Night.
My bed is now a place where I feel like God is wrapping His arms around me. A place where I feel safe, comforted, and blessed. But before I left on the Race, it was just a bed. Something I took for granted. A place I slept. Something that was expected and deserved.
So now, I just thank God for the little things.
Coffee in the morning.
Fuzzy comfy socks.
A fireplace to keep me warm.
A good book to curl up with.
Once on the Race I experienced a moment without God. A single millisecond of pure terror as I felt the weight of the evil that surrounds us if God didn’t have His hand over us.
In that moment I fully realized how nothing is important unless I have Him. I am so thankful for Him and only Him, but just like my bed, I easily take Him for granted and expect Him to always be there without thanking Him for His presence.
So now every day, I thank Him for the little things, but I also thank Him for the biggest thing: Him.
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