He was coming up over a hill at sixty-five miles per hour on the Dan Ryan Expressway. His three year-old son was doing what many three year-olds did in those days, he was standing up in the middle of the back seat, so he could see out the windshield. Suddenly, as he came up over the rise, there were wrecked cars everywhere. There was no time to react. The situation was impossible. A high speed impact was unavoidable. But then, just at the last moment, he saw a tiny gap — he hit the brakes and aimed for it. Meanwhile his three year-old son came flying forward, headfirst, at the windshield. While trying to steer through the accident scene with his left hand, he caught his son in midair with his right and gently guided him onto the front passenger seat.
Somehow, they made it through the maze of wrecked vehicles without even touching another car.
The man’s reaction? The color was drained from his face and he was shaking badly from the outpouring of adrenaline.
His three year old son? He smiled big and said,
“Dad, can we do that again?”
Had he failed to protect his son in that way, it’s possible you would not be reading this, because the man was my father, and I was the three year-old.
You know it’s amazing how important perspective is. What was terrifying to my dad was like a carnival ride to me, all because of our differing perspectives.
About a year ago I changed the way I pray. I begin every prayer giving thanks for various blessings God has poured out on me.
What a difference that simple change has made!
Over the last year my attitude has improved dramatically.
All because of perspective.
Jesus said in John 10:10,
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
It’s been my observation the people who neglect thanksgiving tend to experience the stealing, and killing, and destruction — of their joy. And my friends who are careful to thank God at every opportunity seem to radiate a cheerful spirit. They seem to be living that full abundant life Jesus talked about. (Jesus Himself said that’s why He came — John 10:10)
So why not try it yourself? Even if your life’s a car wreck, you can enjoy God’s Spirit of gladness in the midst of your trial, just by changing your perspective, just by giving thanks to God at every opportunity.
Thanksgiving — it’s a key to living the abundant life Jesus desires you to live.
So give thanks.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.Psalm 100:4-5
[Image via celikins, Creative Commons]
[You might also like The Oil of Gladness by Spurgeon]