A Signal to Give Thanks


I hate catching light red lights. I know I’m just an impatient person, but it drives me nuts sometimes. I know God is trying to build more character into my life, but I still don’t like getting a red light, and waiting, waiting, waiting. My idea of a great morning is catching nothing but green lights on my way to drop my grandson off at his school (there are TEN signals – it happened once; it felt like being in the “third heaven”). My favorite commercials are the ones where the guy guns the car and all the lights turn green. One of my favorite movie scenes is in “The Italian Job” where they control all the signals in downtown LA and the stream of Mini-Coopers go from Hollywood to Grand Central Station in ten minutes … woo-hoo!

But life is full of red lights. And I need to deal with it.

Then an idea came to me. It came to me when I was having a conversation with my worship associate, Krista. She mentioned to me that she had the Worship Team this weekend share five things they were thankful for as part of their Whole Life Worship Community time. It worked very powerfully for them (and they did an amazing job this weekend!)

I thought, “What if I thought of three things I’m thankful for every time I hit a red light?” At first it sounded silly and trite, but then I realized that this silly idea could be powerful because I know that giving thanks to God is a powerfully transforming act whenever we do it.

So I gave it a try. First red light, I thanked God for breathing, hot showers, and my wife. Second red light, I thanked God for my pastor and his family, for my sons and my grandsons. Third red light, I thanked God for sunsets, His beautiful world, and for friends. By that time, I became unaware of traffic signals. I was in the flow of giving thanks to God. I continued to thank God throughout the rest of my short trip: thanking Him for giving me experiences of His love, for unforeseen blessings that recently happened, for my salvation, for the people in my life who invested in me, and on and on.

The “thank-fest” spilled over into my next activity, getting ready to lead worship for Lifeline. My heart was so full of joy and peace. Usually, it requires a lot of focus to do this task becomes it comes at the end of a long day. But I had exceptional energy and enthusiasm. I had a wonderful time with my Lifeline brothers and sisters!

So next time you hit a red light, don’t get frustrated and don’t think about the time you are wasting waiting for the green light to come up. “Stop” to give thanks to God for three things, and see if that doesn’t change something in your soul.

It’s a “signal” to enter into Whole Life Worship.

2 thoughts on “A Signal to Give Thanks

  1. I wake up. I give thanks. I do a chore. I give thanks that I have a home & family. I go to the doctor(s), I give thanks for the care they give. Even though I limp, I dance in the kitchen with my dogs giving thanks for God’s love. My dogs don’t dance with me any other time. I think they sense the praise. Not only rocks rise up to praise him, but also our animals. Thanks and praise are contagious!

  2. Pingback: Thankful for what we have | wholelifeworship

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