...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Standing Ovations of Gratitude

Last night we saw "Les Miserables" on stage. Now I love musicals, but this is my favoritest of all my favorite musicals. I LOVE it with great passion. It brings me to tears. It thrills my soul. It inspires me. It is a story of failure, of judgement, of grace, of redemption, of love, of sacrifice. Ahhhh, I feel a song coming on. I may just have to start singing "I Dreamed a Dream."

This was my third time to see it on stage, and I have loved it every time. But for some reason this time connected with me very deeply.  The singers were incredible. (I have a secret desire to play Eponine and be able to hit all the notes. In reality I can only hit about three of them, but a girl can dream.)

Apparently in that theater I was not the only one who loved the production because at the end of the show the applause was uproarious.

Now, side-note here.  I usually like to duck out of places early. I have a genetic disability that produces intense hatred of waiting in line. Really. I think there is a syndrome name to this malady. I am not impatient. It is a Medical. Issue.

But last night. Awwww......last night I didn't care. I had to stay and applaud and applaud and applaud (and whoop and holler too). I needed those actors and actresses to know how very touched I was by their performance. I was willing to be stuck in the line, you know, the one that moves like molasses to get out of the theater. Yes, I would do that just to applaud some more.

And the faces of the cast on stage showed their appreciation. They had given their best. They had sung their hearts out. They absolutely beamed with joy as the theater shook with the unbridled enthusiasm of the audience.

It made me happy.

But on the way home, because I can't just leave things alone and enjoy the moment, I began wondering why it gave me such joy to share in that ovation. And I began to see a picture.

God is the Great Playwrite.
He is the Master Director.
He is the Expert Storyteller.
He is The Virtuoso.

He causes the morning stars to sing. (Job 38:7)
He has fixed the stories of the times and epochs. (Acts 1:7)
He causes all things to work together for good. (Rom. 8:28)
His word (His lyrics) are more beautiful and valuable than gold. (Ps. 19:10)

And most amazing of all, He became flesh, and completed the Story He had been writing from the beginning of time. (Jn 1:14)

And I was struck. How often have I given God a standing ovation?

How often have I just basked in the glory of the appreciation of His amazing work?

How often have I communicated unrestrained joy at the gift of the beauty He has given?

How often has my appreciation spilled out of my heart and run down with the tears on my face?

The answer? A few times.

A few times? When everyday I am surrounded by the amazing Story of His Love and His Work and His Beauty and His Creation?  What is wrong with me?

EVERY DAY I should be giving Him a standing ovation.

And in reality, that is what gratitude is.
Gratitude is basking in the remarkable work and undeserved gift of the Story He is allowing me to participate in.
Gratitude is recognizing how magnificent is His work and how excellent is His ways.
Gratitude is not just knowing that His work is magnificent and His ways are excellent, but is taking the time to express those things.

So this year....2012....I want to practice gratitude. And not for the stuff in my life.
Just gratitude for the most amazing musical I have every seen...God's Story!

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