28 Mar Have You Adjusted Your Antenna?
WRITTEN BY: John Meikle
Admittedly, I’ve had a spotty relationship with gratitude in the past. I’d correlate my experience with gratitude to T.V. antennas. Some of us remember them, but for those too young to, they typically sat on top of the television and would pick up a signal that provided the picture on the screen. A common problem was the signal becoming disrupted and the only fix was to get up off the couch to adjust the antennas until I found the right angle for them to pick up the signal again. Imagine watching your team in a big game and the signal becomes distorted. You probably wouldn’t just sit there watching the static, you’d want to get up and adjust those antennas. Similar to the T.V. antennas, from time to time, my mindset needs adjusting to more clearly see all that I have to be grateful for.
As I reflect on gratitude, I am reminded of a guy named Paul, also known as Paul the Apostle. He knew what it was like to have and to not have and still find gratitude. He was thankful in his circumstances, but Paul had to have his antenna adjusted first. In Philippians 4:4-7 NLT, he writes:
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
For me, Paul is describing what a spirit of gratitude looks like. When we are grateful, our “antenna” is adjusted, and our mindset shifts. We become more joyful, more considerate, and we find peace in our circumstances. You may not have or get everything you want or pray for, but if you take a few minutes every day to think of what you do have and what God has given you, and thank God for that, you’ll see a change.
Cultivating gratitude used to be difficult, but as my faith has grown there’s definitely been a shift. Now, I find myself waking up, starting my slot and spot, and thanking God for everything I have and for everything he has for me. As I’m writing this, I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to connect with even just one person reading this. I’ve learned to switch my attitude from “I HAVE to do this” to “I GET to do this”. It’s all about a perspective change. You don’t HAVE to go to work, you GET to go to work. You don’t HAVE to serve, you GET to serve.
Serving in ERT (Emergency Response Team) for me is an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I am also grateful for my wife, my children, and my job. I’m grateful for my life, past and present; I’m able to speak from my experiences. And for that alone, I am grateful! I still, occasionally, get feelings of being ungrateful here and there; I’m only human after all. But I don’t have to wrestle with my “antenna” nearly as much as I used to to get a clear picture again.
What does gratitude look like for you? Is it the first thing you think of when you rise in the morning, or is it an afterthought or maybe not a thought at all? I encourage you to stop and think about everything you have to be grateful for. A member of a J-Group I’m in shared that he and his wife keep a journal of three things they are grateful for each day. Wow! How awesome it would be to go back and find so many things that I have been grateful for, even on my worst days. Talk about a gratitude adjustment! Life sometimes has a way of disrupting your signal, or at least tries to. When it does, get up, adjust the antenna to help make the picture clearer so you don’t miss all the small things you have to be grateful for.
ERT Team Leader/Stewardship & Giving and Communications J-Teamer
John has been attending The Journey for about three years with his wife, Dyniece, and son, John. He got baptized during baptism weekend at The Journey on 11/7/2020. He later took the step to get plugged in and serve. He began serving with ERT and the Stewardship & Giving Team. He is now a Team Leader in ERT and serving in Communications as well, using his talents to bring glory to God.
For further inspiration, check out The Journey’s latest series, “Gratitude Adjustment“!