So here’s the thing. The surgery on my shoulder went well and, while painful, I do have some freedom of movement as it’s not in a sling or anything like that. I have been told to keep my arm movements within certain parameters and not to do any heavy lifting but I am able to do some things.
One of those things is to check out what my friends are posting on Facebook and other social media sites and in doing so I have noticed a phenomenon. I don’t know whether it has always been like this or I have noticed it more because of my being confined to home but there seem to be lots and lots of postings of photos from holidays.
My initial reaction (if I am honest) was one of jealousy. I felt envious of all of the travelling, laughing, visiting, relaxing and all the rest of the holidaying that I could see on my tablet screen while I was unable to enjoy any of it. I even felt myself thinking, “It’s not fair, we’re not getting a holiday this year.”
And then, very rapidly, I metaphorically slapped myself around the face with a fish. What was I thinking? It may have been the after-effects of the anasthetic and the pain-killing drugs. But it was more likely just good old-fashioned self-pity and selfishness. I am SO privileged. I have SO much to be thankful for. It’s ridiculous to be envious of others and covet their donkey. So I prayed to regain an attitude of gratitude.
I decided that when I saw pictures from my friends’ holidays I would pray a prayer of thanks that they were having a good time away (and pray for more of it for them). When I saw pictures of places I would like to visit I would pray thankfully that such places exist. When I saw posts from people who were unable to go away on holiday I would be praying that they would find things to be thankful for in their own circumstances.
And that has changed the way that I am looking at my friends’ holidays. Instead of resenting them I am rejoicing in them. Keep them coming, I say, so I can enjoy them with you.
One final thought: an attitude of gratitude works best when you have Someone to be grateful to.
Be blessed, be a blessing
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