Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. – Psalm 100:4 (KJV)
Traffic in my city is quite cumbersome. Traffic woes combined with the pervasiveness of distracted drivers make for a driving experience that can range from being steadily irritating to utterly frustrating.
I have found that my best driving experiences do not begin when I sit behind the wheel of my car. My best driving experiences are largely dependent on my approach to driving: Have I planned ample time to make the drive in the face of heavy traffic? In addition to my driver’s license and insurance, am I prepared to show my patience when necessary? Do I have enough material on my sound system to help me stay calm and informed throughout my drive instead of being agitated and upset?
For me, a good driving experience has a lot to do with my approach. And for that matter, good experiences in life are largely dependent on how we approach those experiences.
Do we make plans with enough time and patience to accommodate the sudden delays and detours that may occur?
Are we aware that the experience is not solely determined by what we do behind the wheel, but by how well we anticipate and compensate for what others do behind the wheel?
Do we have enough spiritual resources to keep us calm and positively focused throughout the experience?
According to the psalmist, we are not to enter worship looking for something or someone to make us feel good. We are to approach worship with an attitude of thanksgiving and praise that we bring with us through the entrance.
Approaching worship and work with an attitude of gratitude can set the stage for experiences that are delightfully different … or at least, not quite so cumbersome.
Lord, let my approach to life reflect your constant goodness. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Decatur, Georgia.