Giving Thanks for All Things
40 Days of Personal Change, Day 18
Elul 18, 5780 / September 7, 2020

Excitement grew as the anticipated day had arrived. Our vehicle was piled high with camping necessities. We were off for a couple days to a favorite mountain top. A family tradition of experiencing a few days of no water, no electric, no outside connections, just miles and miles of nature surrounding us. Seven of our children and seven grandchildren joined us.

As often experienced, family adventures usually come with life lessons.

It was early morning on our last day at camp. We woke up filled with joy, our oldest son counted his 34th year of life, a gift only our Heavenly Father can give.

Our son brought two ATVs along, as he hoped for some off-road exploring time with his dad.

They set out on a ride on our last day of camp before having to pack up.

As children ran, jumped and played, potatoes and onions sizzled on the fire, breakfast burritos were on the menu.

Burritos now ready, no riders were back. Previous rides had not been this long, we became concerned.

Morning now warm, no riders were back, concern and thoughts grew.

Time passing, concern and thoughts continued to grow and a plan was made. If they didn’t arrive within the hour someone would go look for them.

When the hour approached, we began to hear the faint sound of an ATV. As the sound came closer we recognized the smiling faces of the riders. All was well, time had escaped them while having fun.

In a flash all my thoughts of concern turned to frustration mixed with anger. Did they not think that maybe they should have kept better track of time? I held back very little while letting everyone in the camp know how inconsiderate I felt this was.

Needless to say, packing camp took place in silence as my words ended the smiles and celebrations.

On the quiet drive home, The Holy Spirit continued the good work in me. My eyes filled with tears wishing my family would have witnessed a thanksgiving offering for a safe return go up from my lips instead of my words of frustration.

Upon arriving home, we gathered around our Shabbat table we had set before leaving. I offered up a thanksgiving offering for the safe off-road exploring trip my son experienced with his dad. I repented before my Heavenly Father and to my family for allowing selfish thoughts to keep me from giving thanks.

How many times have I missed an opportunity to give thanks? Ephesians 5:20 – “always giving thanks for all things…”

Thank you, Abba, for allowing me to see the changes I need to make to master the culture of your Kingdom.

Polly Webb
BYNA Elder

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