Freestyle Friday: Grateful Expectations

5:00. Books have been written about what I’m writing about today – and I don’t know that I’m qualified to write on the subject – but I’m going to try to say what I want to say in about 30 minutes. Let’s go.

IMG_0048I took this photo of a sleeping Jack about five years ago. He had spent the day at Leah’s grandparent’s house and, when I arrived, he was sleeping like a log. It was a very odd occurrence for a child who did not sleep very much. Instead of waking him, Leah’s grandmother invited me to stay and have dinner with them.

I accepted the invitation and I went to check on Jack once again. As I walked back to the dining room from the living room, I heard Leah’s grandfather (they called him “Bull”) saying the blessing. I stood silently in the doorway, listening, when I heard him say words that I may have heard a hundred times before, but words that struck me that evening and that I haven’t forgotten. Leah’s grandfather ended his prayer by saying, “Thank you, Lord, for what you’ve done for us, and thank you for what you’re going to do. Amen.”

In those words, Bull expressed not only gratefulness for the experiences and blessings of his past and present, but also gratefulness for, and expectations of, blessings in the future.

“Thank you, Lord, for what you’ve done for us, and thank you for what you’re going to do.”

Our Sunday school lesson last week was on how to deal with difficult circumstances – how you deal with the bad things that happen in life. I would suggest that, if you wait for the bad things to happen before you start preparing to get through them, it’s a much tougher road.

I’ve mentioned Dr. Kevin Elko several times in the past six months, but one of his “sayings” is “you can live your vision, or you can live your circumstance.” Through his grateful expectation of future blessings, I think that Bull was saying the same thing. There is growth on the other side of trials, and it is that growth – those blessings – for which Bull was already grateful.

I know that there are some of you reading this that have gotten news in the past couple of months, couple of weeks, couple of days, that is scary. Some of you are going through things that I’ve never had to deal with, and I can’t imagine what you’re feeling. None of us, however, are immune from bad things happening in our life, or in the life of a friend or loved one.

It’s 5:30 and I’ve got to get ready for work, I just hope that Bull’s words and the example of his life offer hope, encouragement, and inspiration to you, just as they have to me.  Focus on your vision, not your circumstance, or as Bull said, “Thank you, Lord, for what you’ve done for us, and thank you for what you’re going to do.”

Have a great Friday. See you soon.

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