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Looking Out and Giving Thanks

One temptation that seems prevalent in our luxury-cushioned first-world is the urge to dwell on ourselves.

Whether it's that nagging cold, or that way-too-early morning, or that hurtful word we just can’t seem to smooth from our memories—how much time do we spend, do we waste, looking inwards, at our own troubles, instead of looking out?

It’s not an easy concept—forgetting ourselves. It’s true and authentic selflessness. But when we do step out of the grey cloud of our problems, when we do make an effort to look out instead of in, the world can look suddenly so much brighter. Because suddenly, we can see God at work.

The self trap is one I’ve often struggled with, especially in the throes of school stress and book commitments. Sometimes it’s hard to look through the fatigue of a late night, or the chaos of an overspilling to-do list, to see the people and needs around us, and to feel the very presence of God. But taking the time to step out of ourselves is so very rewarding. Just yesterday morning I sat on the school bus, admiring the morning sun as it kissed the waking world, and felt just how blessed I am to be a child of God.

It reminded me of what we're missing, what is so easy to miss when Satan has his way. Becoming absorbed in our own problems not only weighs us down with fatigue and stress, but keeps us from seeing the needs of those around us, and from feeling God's presence in our lives.

Today, let's step from the haze of ourselves and see the many blessings God has laid in our paths. Let's be a light, a help, a friend, and above all—truly thankful.

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