We hope that you had a great March break and that it was a blessed time with your families. Vacations are a wonderful opportunity to be refueled, take time to slow down, and think more as we change our pace. One trap that we can fall into though, whether we travel or stay close to home, is slipping into the mode of comparing ourselves with others. It can quickly highlight what we have and don’t have.
On the one hand, we can feel pride in that we can afford a certain vacation or we can feel blessed with what we have. Conversely, we can also feel inferior or jealous of those who can afford the bigger accommodations or be frustrated that we can’t offer the same experience for our own families.
The antidote to all this is gratitude, which is our theme over the next 3 weeks. When our hearts are filled with gratitude for all that we have been given, it helps us to shift our eyes off of others and unto the Lord. In 1 Samuel 12:24 we read, “But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”
Our perspective can also enhance our level of gratitude, as we observe what God is doing around us. This morning we had the opportunity to hear from Gary O’Neil, who is the executive director of Kerr St. Mission. He shared with us about the heart behind the mission and who it is that they serve on a regular basis. Often, we don’t see what is going on behind the scenes and miss the true needs that are hidden in plain sight.
Gary shared a great illustration of a boy who stopped going to birthday parties and pizza nights. His friends wrongfully assumed that he was purposefully distancing himself from them and wasn’t being a good friend. The truth of the matter was that his father had lost his job and they couldn’t afford the gift or pizza. When his friends finally found out the truth, they were devastated and wanted to help.
In the same way, we have an opportunity to allow our gratitude for what God has given us to lead us to compassion and opening our hearts (and wallets) to those who are in need and have less. What a great reminder that God has blessed us for a reason and we have so much to be thankful for!
J-D Lussier, Principal