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Friday, October 12, 2012

Giving Thanks in Gatlinburg


Gatlinburg Department of Tourism Photo
Posted by Hello

It’s nice to get away from our daily routine. In autumn, a drive through the mountains enjoying the spectacular range of color the Lord has created can be restorative.

A few years ago, I took a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with family. The weather cooperated with temperatures in the seventies and a slight breeze. Just right.

It looked as if everyone who goes to Gatlinburg came that weekend. You couldn’t move your car down the main street more than a few feet at a time, or edge more than two feet through a store without running into someone or something- usually someone’s stroller. Ouch!

To add insult to the injury (from the strollers!) we were charged double the going rate for our motel simply because of the demand. We checked in and after shopping, we came back to find we had no place to park.

Although I remained thankful the Lord gave us a safe trip and the means to go, what was supposed to be relaxing became an exercise in patience. It would have been easy to forget about thankfulness and become as impatient and rude as some of the travelers.

Thankfulness is an attitude. The American Heritage Dictionary says thankfulness is “to be aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful and to be expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile.” Isn’t it better to smile at someone than frown? It is better to speak kinds words than lash out in anger.

When we have to wait in line to pay for something, rather than be impatient, why not use that time to thank God for our money? When we have to wait a whopping twenty minutes to be seated in a restaurant, let’s breathe a prayer of thanks that God provides us with another meal. We are so blessed we forget there are millions of people in the world who have no idea where their next meal will come from.

Psalm 69:30 says, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”

We sing a chorus, ‘Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart’. When our hearts are grateful, we make up our minds to be thankful - no matter what the circumstances. As Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I’m thankful my heels have healed up. Those strollers hurt!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the beauty of this world, and for Your many blessings. I pray I'll be grateful in spite of and in the midst of life's circumstances. You're so good to me. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

"Giving Thanks in Gatlinburg" won third place in a writing contest sponsored by AFFA Communications. 
*Gatlinburg Department of Tourism Photo
**Originally posted November 19, 2004
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