Every year, towards the end of December, our dear friend, Pervin Varma, and her family gather at her home in Bangalore to celebrate Christmas and to bring in the New Year.
The celebration lasts for days with people pulling off all-nighters, rejoicing in music and relishing the food that’s served. Four generations of people meet together under one roof, and they all have their meals one generation after the other, starting with the oldest, and ending with the 6 – 8 year olds.
It is a beautiful picture of celebration of the new, but what makes it all the more special is the wall that stands behind the dining table, covered with post–its, with writings on them, with more of them being stuck on it every year.
You see, what they do is not just celebrate the coming of the new, but all those gathered look back on the blessings of the old year, write it on a post–it, and stick it on the wall.
As a result, you have the wall of blessings – standing strong for the past 9 years.
They are full of gratitude – the kind that takes up all the wall space. Post- its of being thankful for all they have and all they have grown in this year.
And no, it is not very neatly done! No fancy prints are used, no eloquent words are written. There are post-its stuck on that wall with scribblings from a two-year old, and there are some where the handwriting is completely illegible. A huge chunk of the wall is just chaos.
And that’s what makes it beautiful – to be able to trace the gratitude that has been poured out for every single year. There is no pretending that lives have been perfect in the years, but an honest reminiscing on all the blessings through the chaos and beauty of it all, and always being mindful of the one who has been in control and always will be.
And isn’t that what God’s command is? To suck in what is right before us – what He has placed there so intentionally – and then say thank you? Because it’s simple. And it’s true. And it’s a gift we forget to find the gratitude for. And it fills us so much more mightily than the fears and worries we stack inside ourselves when we think this day-to-day is about getting “stuff” done.
Can you imagine what it’s going to be like years from now, when the kids who have scribbled their thanksgiving on that wall look back at their blessings, at the blessings of their parents and grandparents and be struck in awe as they trace God’s faithfulness and endless goodness to them over the years?
It’s a powerful reminder for us to start seeing and counting.
God gives us a thousand blessings within a single day – a thousand and more. And most of the time, we’re just stomping our feet and crossing our arms and waiting for something better.
It’s 2018! Capture someone, make them sit at your table and count all the blessings, all the gifts that leap and dance around us.
You’re gonna have to stop. You’re gonna have to look around. You’re gonna have to slow down a bit too…
But its worth it.
We have the time. We have all the time we thought we never had.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for that is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18