Now it is not lost on me that the title of this letter will probably sound a bit arrogant, but stick with me on this and I think it will come together & make sense. Benjamin Franklin said there are three hard things in life: steel, diamonds, and to know oneself. Knowing oneself takes time, perspective and experience to do well. As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving, I am reminded of all the blessings that I have been given. I want to encourage us all to slow down this season and take the time to inventory the blessings in our lives. Pausing to consider all of the sources of joy and the good things we have been given brings about a healthy gratitude that will benefit us in many ways and, at the end of the day, we’ll know also ourselves a little better.
It’s fairly easy to be grateful for the good things in life, but I believe there is great wisdom in being thankful for both the good and the bad. Being able to see things from the perspective of eternity, or at least a timeframe larger than the incident itself will go a long way towards helping us find some gratitude. Time has a way of bringing perspective in ways not previously available to us. With time, we can come to a place of appreciating some painful things in our lives because of what they taught us about ourselves and because of the ways that those bad things have turned into good things. God has a way of doing that and even promises that He will! I am encouraged that God cares that much for each of us and is powerful enough to bring that feat to fruition.
And as we experience more of life, our experiences have greater variety, but we also have the feedback of how people experience and perceive us. This brings a healthy perspective that is valuable for all of us. I have been humbled at times when people experience me in ways that my heart did not intend or are counter to how I want to be known. In moments like this it’s easy to bristle and write them off, but I think there is value available for those willing to take a look and listen to the feedback that has been offered. While there’s certainly a place for standing your ground and not allowing others to define us, there’s also a prize for those who choose humility and listen with the goal of knowing oneself.
This year has been quite the doozie with all of the turmoil and uncertainty we face. Let’s take some time in this midst of a season of thanks to celebrate the blessings we have, the perspective that time brings, and maybe we can all know ourselves a little better. May we have an attitude of gratitude and be a healthier version of ourselves as we close out this year. I’m certainly thankful for each of you and as always, please let me know if I can do anything for you or your family!
You are one of my blessings and I am counting you as such this Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving from the Mark Lemmons Group!