I Can Still Be Thankful

What I learned about trusting God in a pandemic and why I’m thankful.

Scripture is chocked full of the call to be grateful in all circumstances. Society has now adopted the phrase, “First World Problems.” That draws a conclusion that the irritants of our day are usually petty when compared to long-suffering of others around the world, or certainly when compared to life and death issues. Enter the pandemic. The Coronavirus plague of 2020 has impacted people’s way of life and the way business gets done around the world. Nothing is normal, nothing can be taken for granted. And yet, I’m thankful.

Of course, we could say things like, “I’m thankful for the massive slow-down…the change of pace in my life…and how these things allow me to stop and smell the roses.” I could also say, “I’m thankful for more time at home to bond with my family.” But today, I’m pointing out how appreciation, gratefulness, and thanksgiving are intentional efforts that should not be taken for granted.

Don’t assume everyone knows they are loved and appreciated. We’ve been saying things like, “we’re all going through this together.” While it may be easy to conclude that–because Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate–we are all on an even playing field. This can lead to a belief that those around us don’t need affirmation. On the contrary!

One of the biggest dangers in our society is the appearance that survival (or even the output of high productivity) is enough. In reality, healthy relationships drive survival and productivity. In our heads we know that we have an appreciation for those around us, including those people in the workplace. But when is the last time we took a moment and thoughtfully expressed our gratitude to others?

As the days of pandemic ran together, my pastor remarked, “It feels like every day is Tuesday.” He was right…and when every day is a Tuesday, it’s easy to get lost in either the work or the malaise. Creating a weekly reminder to encourage others can aid you in remembering to reach out. It’s as simple as making an appointment to express your gratitude. It offers an emotional boost to those you influence and it helps your heart along the way.

As you take this intentionality to the next level, set aside a moment to clear your mind and think about how someone has helped you recently—then, find a way to express it. This not only ensures that appreciation is shown, but that it is genuine, thoughtful, and often more heart-felt than a passing “thanks for all you do.”

For those seeking a “master class” in appreciation, consider learning more about those who are important to you. Take time to discover the primary language of each person around you and learn to speak those languages more fluently! For more about this, I suggest a great resource written by Dr. Gary Chapman & Dr. Paul White titled, “5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.”

Life wasn’t meant to be done solo or even highly distanced! Surviving a pandemic isn’t easy, but showing kindness and intentionally is. Thank someone around you today. In doing so, you will be speaking life!

Daniel Britt
VP of Culture Integration
Positive Alternative Radio

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