Thanks As a Go-To Move
by Rhonda Rhea
That black thing on the carpet. Is it a spider or is it sock fuzz? I rattled my car keys at it. Nothing. I feel my only choice now is to leave it there for three more weeks.
It’s bad enough that last week I threw a shoe at a spider and watched it escape under my refrigerator. That was no sock fuzz, people. I remember looking at the fridge and thinking, “Welp…nevermind the pies in there. No more eating. Ever.” And then finally, “I’m really going to miss this house.”
Why are spiders so sneaky? Granted, throwing a shoe in a wild, screaming panic from across the room was probably never a great strategy. So much for my go-to move. It’s not my fault. Because whatever people may tell you, all spiders are huge. And venomous. And full of treachery.
Someone told me I should just be thankful that spiders don’t fly. Fine. I’ll be thankful. But I’m still not touching that black thing on the carpet.
I know, I know. My “thankfulness” is less than inspiring right there. Because the truth is, our thankfulness—or lack of it—has a significant and unmistakable impact on how we live. Even how we worship.
Have you ever found yourself experiencing personal worship time that seems a bit lackluster? Just sort of lying there like so much sock fuzz?
Anytime we’re experiencing that kind of listlessness in worship, it’s reasonable to wonder if thanks could be a key. As a matter of fact, in Psalm 100:4, the psalmist gets our attention—rattles the keys, as it were. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving,” (HCSB). These were the temple gates that represented God’s holy presence. The people were told to enter the presence of God how? Thanksgiving, the keys to the gates! Psalm 95:2 tells us again, “Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving,” (HCSB). See, now this is a go-to move.
Our flesh can be as sneaky as a spider-under-the-fridge about giving thanks. It easily bristles at it or tires of it. Thanksgiving is not simply a season. But thanksgiving is a practiced way of life that can usher us into the presence of our Lord in deeper, more genuine worship. In thanking Him, we remember and celebrate His love, His faithfulness, His mercy, His provision and more. We find our prayers and even our focus moving from a list of things we think we need, or things we want God to do for us, to a less selfish and less complicated place of delighting in what He’s done. Our eyes are opened to areas He’s already graciously at work. And with eyes wide open, we adore Him all the more. Remarkable things happen in the presence of God at the deepest part of our being as we thank Him. When we make ourselves at home in thanks, we’re making ourselves at home in His presence. There’s simply no sweeter place to be.
Incidentally, in an altogether different way and an altogether different kind of home, I may not be there yet, but I think I’m making progress in the spider department. Because I called an exterminator, yes. But also because today I saw a spider in the tub and I never once tried to kill it with a flamethrower. Possibly because I don’t have a flamethrower. But still.