Grav·i·tyThe force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass. (Oxford English Dictionary)

There are many reasons why I love our Children’s Ministry volunteers.  They are always up for anything – obstacle course anyone? – and truly care about the kids and families they serve.  I must admit, however, there is one big reason I so appreciate each and every one of them – they each have a great sense of humor.  These are people who do not take themselves too seriously and absolutely revel in the amazing (and hilarious) things your kids say and do each week.

As I have explained before, each month we focus on a characteristic we believe God wants each of us to have instilled in our hearts and minds.  And as I have mentioned earlier this November, this month we have been talking about Gratitude – letting others (including God) know you see how they’ve helped you.  One of our great volunteers who serves in our K-1st grade class stopped by my office after second service this week to share how the morning went.  She explained this Sunday’s class began with her asking kids what they have been focusing on this past month.  The kids were silent for a moment as they sat wracking their brains. Suddenly one young man raised his hand and said with exuberance and confidence, “Gravity!”

She and I laughed at this adorable and understandable answer.  After all, they do both    begin with the letter “g” and, when one is in kindergarten/first grade, (or almost 50, like me), it is easy to mix up one’s words.  I thought about that answer all afternoon, however. Obviously “gravity” has nothing to do with “gratitude” right?

Or does it?

When I think about gravity, I think about what it draws me to – the earth.  I can jump. I can fly in an airplane. Eventually, however, I am coming back down.  And this is true for everyone else.  I am connected to this earth and so are my family, my neighbors and my world and this connectedness actually connects me to all of them too.

I like the word “attracts” used in the above definition.  “Gravity” attracts me to the earth.  “Gravity” attracts one “body” towards another.

So, what about “gratitude?”  When I remember all I have been given by God, especially during this month of “thanksgiving,” what happens?  Well, actually, it “attracts” me to God.  It doesn’t just change my focus, it has the power to pull me towards my Lord.

Let me explain.  I am in the midst of some potentially difficult life changes.  Children growing up and out.  Turning 50 this year.  Watching my mother get older.  The temptation is to get scared.  Bitter.  Sad.  To sit in my feelings and believe I am totally justified in NOT feeling or acting grateful.  And in those times, I feel very far from God.

But whenever I make the determined DECISION to thank God in ALL things and to trust Him with everything, I distinctly experience His comfort, His peace and His confidence…not that everything will work out the way I want but the way HE WILLS.  Things still might look overwhelming and undetermined but my thankful heart draws me with a forceful attraction into my Heavenly Father’s loving arms and the knowledge that the God Who made the universe loves me.  And He’s GOT THIS.

But something else “gravity-like” happens as well.

When I have gratitude in what I say and do, it draws me closer to others who have it too.  And when I see people who are able to thank God authentically no matter what their life’s circumstances, I want to be near them!  I want to listen to what they have to say.  I want to serve with them.  I want to pray for them and with them.   If gravity is necessary for us to stay connected to this earth, and for our earth to stay connected with other planets, perhaps gratitude is necessary to keep us in line with God and His will (grounded, so to speak, J) and bonded in love and unity with each other.

Gravity is invisible.  We can’t see it but we CAN see its effects. Its impact on what we do and how we do it.

But what about gratitude?

By the time we become adults, most of us are pretty good at thanking God and others in perfunctory ways.  We become skilled at expressing thankfulness in a finite way during what we believe are appropriate circumstances but sometimes with little true appreciation.

Is our gratitude something that bonds us to God with such strength and such power that NOTHING can break it?  Are we floating in the air of resentment and sadness or are we securely on the ground, willing our hearts to look to God with trust and with a joy that has nothing to do with our circumstances?

Kids say the funniest things.

Sometimes they miss the mark.

Sometimes they are closer than they know.

In Christ,
Melinda Lamera