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Punctuating Our Lives with Thanksgiving

There's only one way to conquer discontentment—remember the biblical practice of thanksgiving.

Introduction

We recently looked together through the lens of the story of Job at the great question marks that fill our lives: Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do the righteous suffer? Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways? Life is full of these mysteries, of course. It's only natural that some of our time is spent searching for answers. But at the end of the day, I don't want my life to be about question marks. I'd really be sad if the most vivid memories that people had of me was how I went around asking: Why won't you clean up after yourself? When is this economy going to turn around? How are we going to pay for this? And where is the channel changer?

The punctuation marks of life

I don't want to have my grave marked with a great big comma either: "Wow, Dan really knew how to pack a lot of stuff into the sentence of his life. I mean he did this, and then he did that, and then he went here, and then he went there." If we're not careful, the defining mark of our lives can become a comma. We can become known as the people who were always moving on, always focused on the next acquisition, the next item on the to do list, the next rung on the ladder. Obviously, there's a string of stuff that needs attention. But I doubt any of us want to be remembered as the person whose loving and listening happened mainly in the brief pauses of a run-on sentence.

Life can also become too punctuated with periods. It is really important to make a full stop now and then. But it's tragic how some lives are overly marked by them. Maybe you know somebody who had something really painful happen to them at some point in their lives, and they've never gotten past it. ...

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Dan Meyer is pastor of Christ Church of Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. The punctuation marks of life

II. The Bible's exclamation point of thanksgiving

III. The invitation to live with thanksgiving today

Conclusion