Going through the Motions

On one of my post online-teaching evening walks in the last few weeks, I listened to Joshua Harris in conversation with Nadia Meli. He talked about this deconstruction process and compared it to a LEGO house being smashed by a basketball. 

This made me wonder about my own journey into the wilderness, which I set out on more than six years ago. 

It is difficult to put deconstruction into one coherent structure because while it involves loss and pain, it is very different from death and grief. Nevertheless, I have tried to reflect on my faith journey and tried to identify different phases of unlearning and relearning.
Not everyone experiences the same and not all experiences are equally intense, but maybe these thoughts might help you put some of your questions and emotions into perspective.

I would probably compare my deconstruction to a JENGA game. For years I had built up a stable tower of Christian doctrine, practices, routines and answers to everything. My faith felt unshakeable. 

Nevertheless, many small events began to pull out buildings blocks from my tower. There were some questions and doubts I couldn’t answer, but I tried to push them to the side. I was really busy with finishing up my university degree, but I still took on a major role at a Christian conference working myself close to burnout. My faith failed in times of despair and tragedy.  

The tower began to wobble, but I kept pushing and going. It was only a matter of time until the whole thing would come down. While I was leading worship at a camp I was really looking forward to, that last fatal block was pulled and my tower crumbled (here’s the extended version of this event, in case you’re interested). 

I fell apart.  
After so many years of doing, I finally had to stop and relearn to just be. 
I had to uncover who I was and what my faith was actually made of.  

I spent some months grieving in the midst of the broken pieces of my faith. I just couldn’t believe that the security I had held onto for so long just didn’t work anymore. I thought it was a phase and would smooth itself out if I just waited. But it didn’t. 

As I rummaged through the rubble, I became angry. 
Angry at God for allowing this to happen and seeming so absent in this wilderness. 
Angry at people in church for their prayers and bible verses instead of walking through my questions with me. 
Angry at the system with its strict doctrines and its quick fixes. Instead of welcoming complexity, it offered dualistic simplicity. I knew I didn’t want to go back to simply rebuilding that same tower, I just couldn’t. But I also felt incredibly lost without it. 
Angry at myself for being angry at people I loved, for feeling so disconnected from everyone and everything, for being so vulnerable. 

I began to turn over every block of that JENGA tower which once used to be my faith. Looked at them in more detail. How did it get there? Why did I really practice this or that?
I let go of every routine I ever had. All the things a “good Christian” was supposed to do. I expected things to change for the worse or some form of punishment for not reading the Bible or not praying – but nothing happened. I grew frustrated and incredibly lost. What was the point of doing all these things if they didn’t change my life at all?
I thought about throwing all of the blocks away since they seemed to be useless. Would I be left with nothing then? I couldn’t bear the thought that all my beliefs I had carried for 25 years were an illusion.

In the midst of frustration and desperation, I also felt a breath of fresh air. It was liberating to throw away buildings blocks that didn’t fit anymore and make space for something new. 
As I walked further into the wilderness, I realized that I am not alone. The blocks of my tower have been cleared away and I can see the foundations. I met Emmanuel – the God who is here. I was finally honest with him about my questions and doubts. 
I contended with him for answers. – He told me that faith actually happens in this tension between knowing and unknowing.
I just wanted to go back to ‘when everything was still alright.’ – He introduced me to facets about himself I had missed all these years.  
I met people with similar thoughts and wide hearts – fellow wanderers who became kindred spirits. They helped me see the magic that’s out here in the wilderness. They opened my eyes to the depth that can be found in ancient truths and practices. I discovered God around my table, in food, on my evening walks, on the radio, in other people. 
I began to hope that maybe, just maybe, my faith was still there – but it had taken on a different form. 

The last six years were difficult. I gave myself permission to experience the process with all its emotions and allow myself time not to think for a while. To walk through uncertainty and let go of security. For someone who always needed all the answers (and bible verses to back them up), it was a completely new and liberating experience to say, “I don’t know (yet)”. 
I have come to appreciate the ambiguity of believing, being and living. I am still learning to make my home here in the wilderness. A place of great freedom and beauty. A place of belly laughs, deep thoughts and honest faith. A place where God is always near. 
I have fought and cried and despaired. But I have found peace.

As I reconstruct my JENGA tower, I realize that it might be time to excavate a few more of the foundations below the surface. Fellow wanderers tell me about their journeys and how they have intellectually deconstructed many of their old beliefs. They have made me aware that there’s still so much to discover out there. 

So far, my deconstruction journey has been very experiential. I needed to let go of rituals and practices and try out new forms instead. For this process it was helpful not to go into all kinds of deep theological debates and arguments. I guess I wasn’t really ready for it back then and I am glad I wasn’t. It would’ve been too much to lose form and content at the same time, I’m not sure I’d still believe today.

But now, I have found new freedoms and I am more okay with ambiguity and not knowing all the answers. So I might be ready to enter a new phase of reconstruction.  

Understanding the intersection of faith and culture. 
Touching the big concepts of faith and maybe killing some darlings along the way.
Clearing away some of the theological clouds hiding the divine character behind them.  
Finding God over and over again. 

Wherever you are on this journey: Your thoughts matter. Your emotions are valid. It takes time, but you are not alone.

One of the greatest joys in this reconstruction process has been to meet so many interesting people and their stories of faith. I am now collecting them in a podcast called strich;punkt to share thoughts on unlearning and relearning God together. If you speak German, you can find it on Spotify or Apple Podcasts!

More, Please!

I did not expect this.
After keeping it a secret for a few weeks I finally spilled the beans on Wednesday: I signed a book contract! (Insane, right? Here’s the full story.)
The entire day my phone went crazy with feedback. Some long lost friends sent me messages, people liked and shared the news, others left the most thoughtful and touching comments. Continue reading “More, Please!”

A Deeper Voice

One of my earliest memories is my mom singing to us.
Whenever we went to bed she would sit down next to us and read us a story or sing a song. Songs about the moon and God’s love for the world. Peaceful songs. I must admit that I forgot many of them as I grew older, which is sad when I don’t know the words to sing to my godson. Continue reading “A Deeper Voice”

How to Fill an Empty Soul

“Are you taking a break? I haven’t seen you on Facebook and instagram lately.”

That is correct.

A few weeks ago I couldn’t take it anymore. I just felt so unsatisfied when I looked at social media posts and how polished everyone’s lives where. They all looked so happy and perfect – while I was busy and alone and imperfect. I scrolled down feeds in search of some sort of meaningful news, but all I got was videos about cats and clickbait headlines.
The more time I spent on social media, the angrier I became and the emptier I felt.

It was time to get out. Continue reading “How to Fill an Empty Soul”

Of Losing and Finding

In the last few years I had to deal with loss quite a bit.
I saw friends losing loved ones, and having nothing but pain leaves you speechless.
I lost relationships I thought I could count on, leaving me disappointed and disillusioned.
I moved and traveled to places, leaving me with a deafening feeling of not belonging anywhere.
I transitioned from university into work life and never imagined this change would impact me so much.
I am losing, or rather rediscovering, my faith and sometimes I feel like walking alone on a wide open sea.  Continue reading “Of Losing and Finding”

[Five Minute Friday] Keep

Things had to change.
After five years of studying theory at uni, it was time to put knowledge into practice. 
So I started a new job a few weeks ago. Actually, my first job ever. I am a teacher at a school nearby and the next 1.5 years I’ll be in training. People will watch and evaluate my teaching, there will be lots of late nights preparing and many early mornings.
I had heard quite a bit of rumors and horror stories about these years. 
“You won’t have a life during this time.” 
 “You’ll just live for school.”

So obviously I wasn’t that thrilled when I had to get up at 5.30 am for the first time in many years. 
I would cut all my extra curricular activities, no more social work. 
I would limit my relationships because I wouldn’t have time for people. 
I have to be an adult now. But is that really what it’s like?

Shortly after I started working I met a friend for lunch and she said something that stuck with me: 
“Don’t stop living. Keep the things in your life that keep you alive.”

I guess we all know situations that drain our energy. 
You might live through such a phase of life right now. 
You only go from day to day. 
You function, but you don’t live. 
And slowly by slowly you realize joy has left the house called your heart.

Don’t cut off everything.
Yes, life is not just about fun and easy going. 
Yes, there are times that really challenge us and take our energy.
But keep going. 
Keep the things and people in your life that push you forward. 
That touch something inside of you, below the surface. 
In German, we have a verb for that: “beleben” – it gives life to you.

Keep life inside of you. 
This might mean a good night’s sleep. 
A coffee date with a friend. 
Reading an encouraging and exciting book. 
Going for a run. 
In my case this means lots of cooking. 
Playing music in a band. 
Leading worship at church. 
Practicing my administrational skills at organizing congresses.

Find what gives life to you. 
Small things everyday, bigger things once in a while.
Don’t just function. 

Friday means five minute of free writing over at Kate Motaung‘s place – come and join us!

[Lost and Refound] Give – and Give Generously! /Gib – und gib großzügig!

This post might be mostly a message to myself, but maybe also to a few others in my generation. I also don’t intend to preach morals here; I rather want to stir up a discussion about an issue I’m dealing with and would love to hear other people’s insight on this!

People in Western countries today have more money at hand than ever before: in bank accounts, in investments, in savings, in large amounts they can spend everyday in shops or online.

Yet, I feel that people in Western countries today spend less money for and in the kingdom of God than ever before. I cannot give any statistics or exact numbers, so I might be totally off with this assumption.
But when I observe my own way of handling money or talk to a few others (as well as the almost absence of this topic from church teaching)  I feel we don’t necessarily link up our money and God’s perspective on that.

Here are some questions and issues I tend to struggle with…

What does God say about handling and giving money?
“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.” (Deuteronomy 16:17)

It seems the riches and blessings we’ve been given are not just meant for ourselves. Even though we work and earn money, everything we own is still a gift of God. And this gift has to be handled carefully. We should appreciate it (and its giver) by sharing our blessing with others. This also includes our money.

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrew 13:16)

Sharing is not always easy. It might even be a sacrifice. But we can be sure that it is not in vain. It is so easy to cling to money, even though it cannot really offer us any security. By giving it up and sharing it with others we might also make a statement about who we actually put our trust in. 

So why don’t we give more?
I think the tricky part about many of God’s promises is to actually stand on them, to apply them to our own realities, to turn them into practice. The reality is a fixed figure in our bank account, the amount of bills and coins we have in our wallets, the list of regular expenses per month. 
That’s when I realize that my faith reality is often marked by a great lack of trust. No more bold song lyrics or pieces of advice. Just the simple realization: I don’t trust you with my money, God. If I give I might not have enough for myself. If I share I might end up losing.  
There might be other reasons like not knowing where exactly you should give your money to, drowning in a sea of opportunities. Or doubting that your money will be used for a good purpose. 

I love the way God refutes our hesitations, questions and doubts:

“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” (Malachi 3:10)

The ten percent we give up for God’s kingdom and his purposes will always be rewarded. Our willingness to give will not result in lack or need. 

But what happens when we give? 
In human terms, giving away means having less. Spending means losing. Well, this is not how God works. His principles seem to contradict our often so set ideas:

“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:24&25)

There is the story of the poor widow who gives just a few pennies (Mark 12). And yet God values her gift so much more than the rich people who might not even realize their money is gone. I don’t think God cares so much about the exact amount we put in the offering box. He is after our heart and our attitude while we give. Are we ready to let go of certain things and experience a change of heart in return? 

This is the mystery of faith: Everything you invest will be given back to you in amounts you can never possibly imagine. I am not saying you’ll be trouble free. I am not saying we’ll all be millionaires. But the water you give will come back to you in streams of life, grace, and blessings. Withholding equals want, but giving freely will lead to a richness only the giver of all riches can provide.

Now this was/is me rambling…What are your thoughts on this? How do you handle your money? Do you invest financially into the kingdom? How has God blessed you through this? Would love to hear from you!

Dieser Post ist vielleicht nur eine Botschaft an mich, aber vielleicht trifft sie ja auch ein paar andere in meiner Generation. Ich möchte auch keine Moral hier predigen; es geht eher darum, eine Diskussion anzustoßen über ein Thema, das mich beschäftigt und bei dem ich gerne die Meinung anderer hören würde!

Leute in westlichen Ländern haben heute mehr Geld zur Verfügung als jemals zuvor: auf Bankkonten, in Investitionen, auf Sparbüchern, in großen Summen, die sie jeden Tag beim Einkaufen oder Online ausgeben. 

Trotzdem kommt es mir so vor, dass Leute in westlichen Ländern heute weniger Geld für und ins Reich Gottes investieren als jemals zuvor. Ich kann euch keine Statistiken oder genaue Zahlen dazu bieten, deswegen liege ich vielleicht auch völlig daneben mit meiner Annahme. Aber wenn ich mich selbst beobachte, wie ich mit Geld umgehe oder mit anderen darüber rede (oder die fast Abwesenheit dieses Themas in Predigten) denke ich, dass wir nicht unbedingt unser Geld mit der Perspektive Gottes darauf verbinden. 

Hier sind also einige Fragen und Probleme, mit denen ich normalerweise kämpfe…

Was sagt Gott über Geld und Geld geben?
“Aber niemand soll mit leeren Händen vor demHerrn erscheinen, sondern jeder mit dem, was er geben kann, je nach dem Segen, den der Herr, dein Gott, dir gegeben hat.” (5.Mose 16:17)

Es scheint, als ob der Reichtum und Segen, der uns gegeben wurde, nicht nur für uns bestimmt ist. Obwohl wir arbeiten und Geld verdienen, ist alles, was wir haben, immer noch ein Geschenk Gottes. Und dieses Geschenk muss man kostbar behandeln. Wir sollten es wertschätzen (und seinen Geber), indem wir unseren Segen mit anderen teilen. Das gilt auch für unser Geld.
Wohlzutun und mitzuteilen vergesst nicht; denn solche Opfer gefallen Gott wohl!” (Hebräer 13:16)
Teilen ist nicht immer einfach. Es kann auch Opfer erfordern. Aber wir können sicher sein, dass es nicht umsonst ist. Man hängt sich so leicht an Geld, auch wenn es uns eigentlich gar keine Sicherheit bieten kann. Wenn wir es aufgeben und mit anderen teilen, machen wir vielleicht gleichzeitig auch eine Aussage darüber, wem wir wirklich vertrauen. 
Warum geben wir also nicht mehr?
Ich glaube, das Schwierige an Gottes Verheißungen ist, sich wirklich darauf zu stellen, sie auf unsere Wirklichkeit anzuwenden, sie in die Praxis umzusetzen. Die Realität ist ein bestimmter Betrag auf unserem Bankkonto, die vielen Scheine und Münzen in unserem Geldbeutel, die Liste an regelmäßigen Ausgaben im Monat. 
Immer dann merke ich, dass meine Glaubensrealität von Glaubensmangel bestimmt ist. Keine mutigen Songtexte mehr oder Ratschläge. Nur die einfache Erkenntnis: Ich vertraue dir beim Geld nicht, Gott. Wenn ich etwas gebe, habe ich selbst nicht genug. Wenn ich teile, habe ich am Ende zu wenig. 
Es könnte noch andere Gründe geben, wie etwa nicht zu wissen, wo genau man sein Geld hingeben sollte, da man in der Flut der Möglichkeiten ertrinkt. Oder der Zweifel, ob das Geld auch wirklich gut genutzt werden wird.
Ich liebe die Art, wie Gott unsere Zurückhaltung, Fragen und Zweifel ausräumt:
“Bringt den Zehnten ganz in das Vorratshaus, damit Speise in meinem Haus sei, und prüft mich doch dadurch, spricht der Herrder Heerscharen, ob ich euch nicht die Fenster des Himmels öffnen und euch Segen in überreicher Fülle herabschütten werde!” (Maleachi 3:10)
Die zehn Prozent, die wir für Gottes Reich und seine Zwecke geben, werden immer belohnt werden. Unsere Bereitschaft zu geben, wird nicht im Mangel oder Not enden. 
Was passiert, wenn wir geben?
Menschlich gedacht bedeutet geben, dass man am Ende weniger hat. Ausgeben heißt verlieren. Tja, aber so arbeitet Gott nicht. Seine Prinzipien scheinen unseren festen Ideen so oft zu widersprechen:

“Einer teilt aus und wird doch reicher;ein anderer spart mehr, als recht ist, und wird nur ärmer.Eine segnende Seele wird reichlich gesättigt,
und wer anderen zu trinken gibt, wird selbst erquickt.” (Sprüche 11:24&25)

In Markus 12 gibt es die Geschichte der armen Witwe, die nur ein paar Pfennige gibt. Aber Gott schätzt ihre Gabe so viel mehr als die der Reichen, die vielleicht gar nicht merken, dass ihr Geld weg ist. Ich glaube, Gott geht es gar nicht wirklich um den exakten Betrag im Opferbeutel. Er will unser Herz und die Einstellung, wenn wir geben. Sind wir bereit, bestimmte Dinge loszulassen und dabei zu erleben, wie er unser Herz verändert?

Das ist das Geheimnis des Glaubens: Alles, was du investiert, wird dir in Summen zurückgegeben, die du dir nie hättest vorstellen können. Ich sage nicht, dass alle deine Probleme gelöst sein werden. Ich sage nicht, dass wir alle Millionäre sein werden. Aber das Wasser, das du gibst, wird zu dir zurückkommen in Strömen des Lebens, der Gnade und des Segens. Zurückkalten führt zu Wollen, aber freies Geben wird zu einem Reichtum führen, den nur der Geber aller Dinge geben kann.

Das waren/sind meine Gedanken…Was denkst du darüber? Wie gehst du mit deinem Geld um? Investiert du finanziell in das Reich Gottes? Wie hat Gott dich darin gesegnet? Ich freu mich, von dir zu hören!

[Lost and Refound] Forgotten Blessing/ Vergessener Segen

The other day I took a trip down memory lane, not really intended but absolutely worth while.
I was looking for something on my hard drive and stumbled across some old pictures and videos from the year I had worked in South Africa.

My sense of time didn’t matter anymore; I just lost myself in memories of rich landscapes, beautiful faces of beloved friends and vivid accounts of all the experiences we had together.
There was a lot of travelling, seeing places in the world that took your breath away.
There were so many encounters with people you cannot forget.
There were so many challenges you thought were overwhelming at first; yet, they only made you stronger in the end.
There was laughter, craziness, joy, silence, understanding.

Some pictures made me sigh. Some pictures made me cry because I just missed everyone and everything so badly. But most of the pictures and videos made me laugh out loud and smile all over my face. And made me think: We have been crazy blessed! What a privilege to experience the best and the worst of life together with such amazing people; to fall and to grow together, to laugh and to cry, to dream and to love – and to share a past together no one can ever take away from us.

Don’t we ever forget these memories. Don’t we ever forget how the father pours blessing over blessing into our lives, whether we see it or not. It might take a while to dig them up, but blessings are there and our hands are fuller than we think.

Vor ein paar Tagen habe ich ein bisschen in meiner Erinnerung gestöbert, unabsichtlich aber so wertvoll!
Ich habe auf meiner Festplatte etwas gesucht und bin dabei auf alte Bilder und Videos gestoßen von dem Jahr, das ich in Südafrika verbracht habe. 

Ich habe meinen Sinn für Zeit völlig verloren, weil ich so in Erinnerung versunken bin an reiche Landschaften, wunderschöne Gesichter geliebter Menschen und lebhafte Bilder all der Erfahrungen, die wir zusammen gemacht haben. 
So viel Reisen und Orte sehen, die einfach atemberaubend sind.
So viele Begegnungen mit Menschen, die man nicht vergessen kann.
So viele Herausforderungen die zuerst überwältigend schienen, am Ende aber nur stärker machten. 
So viel Lachen, Verrücktsein, Freude, Schweigen, Verstehen.

Einige Bilder haben mich nachdenklich gemacht. Einige haben mich zum Weinen gebracht, weil ich alles und alle plötzlich vermisst habe. Aber die meisten Bilder und Videos haben mich laut lachen lassen und ich musste übers ganze Gesicht lachen. Und denken: Wie mega gesegnet sind wir! Was für ein Privileg, die besten und härtesten Zeiten des Lebens gemeinsam zu verbringen; zu fallen und gemeinsam zu wachsen, zu lachen und zu weinen, zu träumen und zu lieben – und eine Vergangenheit zu haben, die uns keiner nehmen kann. 

Diese Erinnerungen dürfen wir nicht vergessen. Wir dürfen nicht vergessen, dass der Vater Segen um Segen in unser Leben hineinlegt, ob wir es sehen oder nicht. Es dauert vielleicht ein bisschen, bis wir sie ihn ausgegraben haben, aber Segen ist da und unsere Hände sind voller als wir denken. 

[Lost and Refound] Give thanks in all things/Seid dankbar in allen Dingen

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot. Sometimes on my own, sometimes with other people, sometimes through books, scripture or music. I felt that some things were missing in my life; something that had been there before and was somehow gone now. Values or habits I used to treasure had been buried and were now waiting to be dug up again. So I have decided to start a new (very irregular) series on the blog about my rediscoveries – bring the hidden back into the light.

I listened to an inspiring sermon today, it was about being grateful. Paul tells the Thessalonians in chapter 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 

This is quite interesting; normally, people think the will of God is to be nice to people, help the poor, fight for justice, obey the ten commandments, read the bible…

Giving thanks for everything and everywhere does not come to mind immediately. God’s goodness is connected to the good things he does for us, but what if we don’t see the benefit of things we experience? What about all the hardships, sicknesses, struggles we have to go through? How can we be thankful for them?
Giving thanks for everything does not mean to blind out all the negative things. It is much rather a decision to look out for things we can give thanks for. There is more than we know! And even if the world seems to offer nothing but trouble, there are everlasting truths, faithfulness, unconditional love and forgiveness that deserve our eternal gratitude! It is about the focus and attitude we have towards life and the steps we take every day.
The most interesting point that was made in the sermon was the connection between gratitude and thoughts. THINK and THANK are so similar and they influence each other. Being grateful opens up our minds and hearts; being ungrateful darkens our hearts and makes all thoughts futile. You busy yourself with futile things instead of enjoying the beauty of life. Gratitude opens the way to God, giving thanks pushes us closer into his presense; ungratefulness blocks the way and every kind of intimacy. 

Let’s rediscover the beauty gratefulness brings to our lives, and let’s make the decision to give thanks.  Today and every day. Whatever life throws at us. We got more than enough reasons for it. 

In letzter Zeit habe ich viel nachgedacht. Manchmal alleine, manchmal mit anderen, manchmal durch Bücher, die Bibel oder Musik. Ich hatte das Gefühl, es fehlt etwas im Leben; etwas, das vorher da war und nun weg war. Werte oder Angewohnheiten, die ich geschätzt hatte, waren vergraben und warteten nun darauf, wieder ausgegraben zu werden. Deshalb habe ich beschlossen, eine neue (sehr unregelmäßige) Serie auf dem Blog zu starten über diese Wiederentdeckungen- und sie wieder ans Licht zu bringen. 

Heute habe ich eine inspirierende Predigt gehört, es ging um Dankbarkeit. Paulus schreibt den Thessalonichern in Kapitel 5:18

“Seid dankbar in allen Dingen, denn das ist der Wille Gottes in Christus Jesus für euch.”

Das ist interessant, denn normalerweise denken Leute über den Willen Gottes, dass es darum geht, nett zu Leuten zu sein, den Armen zu helfen, für Gerechtigkeit zu kämpfen, die zehn Gebote zu befolgen oder die Bibel zu lesen…

Dankbar zu sein in allen Dingen und überall kommt einem nicht direkt in den Sinn. Gottes Güte ist mit den guten Dingen verbunden, die er für uns tut, aber was ist, wenn wir nicht den Nutzen unserer Erfahrungen sehen? Was ist mit den ganzen Problemen, Krankheiten oder Kämpfen, die wir ertragen müssen? Wie können wir dafür dankbar sein?
In allen Dingen dankbar zu sein heißt nicht, alle negativen Dinge auszublenden. Es geht eher um eine Entscheidung, nach Dingen Ausschau zu halten, für die man danken kann. Denn es gibt mehr als wir denken! Auch wenn es so scheint, als hätte die Welt nichts außer Problemen zu bieten, gibt es ewige Wahrheiten, Treue, bedingungslose Liebe und Vergebung, die unseren ewigen Dank verdienen! Es geht um den Fokus und die Einstellung, die wir dem Leben und jedem unserer Schritte entgegenbringen. 
Am interessantesten fand ich die Verbindung zwischen Dank und Gedanken. DANKEN und DENKEN sind so ähnlich und beeinflussen einander. Dankbarkeit öffnet unsere Gedanken und Herzen; Undankbarkeit verdunkelt das Herz und macht vieles Denken unnütz. Man beschäftigt sich mit Nichtigkeiten, als sich an Wichtigem zu erfreuen. Dankbarkeit öffnet den Weg zu Gott und bringt uns näher zu ihm; Undankbarkeit versperrt den Weg und jede Art von Nähe. 

Lasst uns die Schönheit wiederentdecken, die Dankbarkeit in unser Leben bringt und die Entscheidung treffen, dankbar zu sein. Heute und jeden Tag. Was auch immer das Leben bringt. Wir haben mehr als genug Gründe dafür.