Comparative Religion is a word I heard about recently from Twitter. From what I gathered, it means comparing your experiences with that of others, to come to a conclusion leading you to practice religion devotedly because the experiences of other people were not favorable compared to yours. This thing were we talk about “Thank God for life, many died in the hospitals and in their sleep but here you are, alive and well”, twitter people said it is wrong.
Not to dive into that but I want to quickly say that highlighting life’s realities and comparing predicaments as a way to find reasons to praise God, are two different things. Sometimes we fail to count our own blessings unconsciously until we see with our eyes that what we took for granted is a miracle for some other folk. If we have these thoughts in our hearts that make us reflect and cause a change in our behavior. Why then is it wrong to voice them out?
Well, that’s for another day.
Today I want to write about Thanksgiving a bit and why so many believers including myself need to make it a steady culture.
I was listening to Maverick City’s album and a certain track popped up that had me at attention─ simple words, relatable lyrics, deep message.
“I just want to thank you, I am so grateful” was the central truth of this melodious song.
Every symphony organized to give praise to the maker. I could feel over 20 voices rising in harmony to sing this song that had me crying by the time it finished playing.
What happened? I had Flashes
I had flash backs while listening to the song and even though I start my prayers with the conventional ascribing of praise, the lyrics made me feel like God’s most ungrateful child. Was I really desperate for all the hairs on my skin to become mouths so they could offer matchless praise as I would always say? Would I be excited if that happened or was I simply saying it because it came across as fancy? Yeah true there are constantly times where I want to hug God to say thank you, but do I feel that way even on my bad days? On days I want to scream and ask him yo! What’s going on Dad?
I had no accurate answers to my questions but it got me thinking. If truly we are as grateful as we claim, why then do we need to be faced with the realities of life before we offer thanksgiving. Hehehe you probably think I switched camps at this point.
If you desire to become a “mouth human” that proclaims Holy Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty day and night, why wait till there is something that will drag you before a cloud of witnesses so you can sing songs with distorted rhythms yanked helplessly from one end to the other, misplaced musical notes, then mix a familiar verse from a different song and spice it up with your unsolicited ad-libs on a song you will stylishly coerce the church into chorusing, then you proceed to narrate in most cases your needlessly long testimony, highlighting details with absolute irrelevance to what God has done. Eventually those who slept half way through your charade will scream hallelujah as a wake-up call at the point where the microphone is snatched from you and you have to grudgingly round up your testimony.
Why wait for such an unnecessary performance before you cultivate the attitude of thanksgiving?
My Nigeria folk here might relate to this description the most but trust me, it happens everywhere. There is always that one testifier who sees the need to describe the dog that crossed the road when they were going to the pastor’s house who prayed for the miracle they would receive when they… stress
When all God truly wants to see is how thankful your heart is─ How you unconsciously thank him and say all the nice things that gladden his heart. He just wants you to be grateful even on days were nothing around you prompts you to be.
Thanksgiving is a lifestyle, an art of worship, praise or anything good associated with giving thanks and therefore requires a degree of intentionality (made up word alert), to execute especially in the kingdom of God.
No one is thankful all the time but we can choose to be. We can decide to sing for joy and let everything within us express gratitude. Personally it is a struggle for me to stay thankful at the slightest inconvenience but the word of God has been teaching me otherwise. I make thanksgiving prompts, set reminders and try my best to truly appreciate God for my life and everything around me.
The year barely began and we have over 300 days to still get things right instead most of us have signed out already and are anticipating 2022 as our year. Come on guys! You can do better. How does the Spirit that resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead live inside you and this is your demeanor towards life?
The charge here is honestly for you to look inward; even without comparing, and find reasons to be grateful to God every day.
Perhaps you found no reasons, thank him for a reason that gives you a shot at other reasons and that it life.
Today is the first day of February─ A special month in a special year. Start the month with Jesus vibes and gratitude, take God seriously, forsake comparative religion, embrace intentional thanksgiving and above all, shine! Like the Child of Light that you are.
HAPPY NEW MONTH!!!
Blessings, love and Light,
Crystabel Nnamdi (Krystarbelle),
For Lumiere de Dieu