Writer, editor, stumbler after Jesus

Putting some ‘thankfuel’ in my tank

I prefer the simpler Milne-Pooh Personality Type assessment over the Myers-Briggs, because it’s based on one letter instead of four. I come out as an E (for Eeyore), while my wife is a T (for Tigger). That’s a combination that could perplex an O (for Owl), but that’s another story.

We Es are rarely disappointed because we don’t expect much. I guess in that way, you might say we are the most satisfied people around. Except that a quiet, ignored dissatisfaction becomes evident to me when I see good things happening around me and think, What about me? Or, as Eeyore said on his birthday when presented with the remains of the balloon Piglet had accidentally burst, “Is this it?”

While God’s quite capable of doing whatever He wants without my help, of course, part of me suspects that, in one of those annoying paradoxes of faith, I’m rather tying His hands in my life with this frequent ho-hum outlook.

Faith isn’t just a matter of quoting Bible verses loudly, like a sort chapter-and-verse PIN that opens the divine ATM. But it’s pretty clear in the New Testament that at times Jesus was limited in what He could do by people’s faith, or lack of it, rather.

If you start the day persuaded that this is about as good as it’s going to get, it isn’t going to take much to prove you right. You don’t have much in the tank. But if you start with the view that something good could be just around the corner, you’re more likely to take any hits in your stride.

With this in mind, and aware that November is Be Thankful month, I have been trying to work on my “attitude of gratitude” by actively recalling some of the good things I have experienced. And my, how many there have been, as I stop to think. Hearty health, cherished children, wonderful wife, faithful friends.

I have been taking a few moments each morning to recall some different ways I have been especially blessed. Like the time I and my temporarily homeless family were taken in by another young couple in our church. Or the buddy who gave me a car—yes, out of the blue, just gave me a car. With leather interior and less than sixty thousand miles on the clock.

Then there’s the countless smaller goodnesses I have known, and which I can all too easily overlook. The older lady who gives me a sweet hug of welcome each week at church. The casual work acquaintance who texts me Bible verses, with a note he is praying for me. Free tickets for a basketball game.

These remembrances stir my heart. I guess you’d call it thankfuel: like logs on a fire, they help keep the flames of faith, expectancy burning through the day. We all know what wet blankets do to fires, though.

Which brings us back to Eeyore, who on finding that Piglet’s burst balloon fit neatly into the honey jar that Pooh had emptied by eating the contents on the way “became quite excited.”

Maybe that makes him an E with T tendencies. I could aspire to worse.

 

 

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