As the year 2016 is beginning to wind down to a close, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am struck with an overwhelming sense of thankfulness as I reflect on the year.
It has occurred to me during this time of reflection that I have spent quite a bit of my time complaining here lately. If I haven't been complaining about my job I've been complaining about where I live. I've kept telling everyone "pray I get into graduate school so I can get the hell out of here". However, as I reflect on that statement I realize that I should be totally ashamed of myself.
The last few months have opened new opportunities for me that are so great I can't even wrap my head around them. Meanwhile, these opportunities have opened up (believe it or not) in my home town. Who would have thought that Mayberry, AL would offer me so much? I certainly didn't think it would. That's why I've been trying to fly the coop for the last few years.
While I am thinking of everything I have to be thankful for, I realize that maybe the grass ins't always greener on the other side. Maybe the pasture I'm in right now is just fine. Of course I would love to see new pastures before I die because while I am thankful for where I am right now in my life, I want to leave my protective bubble of a pasture at least once just to see what else the world has to offer me.
But I think sometimes you just have to take a step back, look at the place around you and realize what you have. I haven't really been doing that at all lately. I've been whining about how I want to get out instead. Which I do. But, I am thankful that I have realized I am right where God needs me to be right now. I am right where He wants me to be for the time being. He has opened so many doors for me the last few months (that I totally don't even deserve by the way). But they have all been to my advantage. What I'm benefiting from now is only paving the road to my future.
I really did not think that a few months ago I would be sitting here writing this because a few months ago I was hell bent on getting into graduate school so I could get out of Mayberry. I hated Mayberry. I hated the people. I hated the small town life of everything closing at 10 P.M. I hated it all. But even Mayberry has a few lessons left to teach me before I shuffle along. It's teaching me one right now actually. This is a life lesson that I'm thankful I'm learning because I think it's important to understand that even though you may not be in the place you want to be in, you need to at least look around you and appreciate where you are.
Be thankful of where you are. Appreciate where you are. You won't always have to be in the same pasture forever and that's key. Repeat that to yourself daily. But don't put all your energy into whining about being in the pasture you hate. Learn to appreciate it for what it is and learn from it.