Taking things for granted…

While mediating and praying during communion at church on Sunday, I had a random thought: Did the Apostles truly comprehend how special they were to be in the presence of Jesus during the Last Supper and through the crucification to the resurrection?

I mean we could probably assume Judas didn’t fully comprehend the magnitude of Jesus and the significance behind the Last Supper. Let’s be honest, the dude totally turned his back on Jesus and betrayed him to the fullest extent….Or maybe he did know and this is just an example of  how easy it is to slip away from what we know to be true and take things for granted in our lives.

I would hope that we aren’t all betraying our loved ones in ways that will end up having them arrested and put to death….but the reality is, we are all guilty of losing sight of what’s important and taking things for granted. That includes our loved ones.

Judas was a sinful human (just like us) looking to benefit from his position. John 12:4-6 (NIV), illustrates Judas’ sinful behaviors prior to even betraying Jesus. In verse 5, Judas is angry that Mary poured perfume on Jesus’ feet stating “it was worth a year’s wage” and “this perfume should be sold and the money given to the poor” But Judas did not care about the poor, he was just angry that the perfume was now unable to be sold, which he likely planned on stealing the profits, as he was a thief (verse 6).

Jesus chose his Apostles to follow Him while he was in the flesh and walking this Earth….He chooses us to do the same during our time on Earth.

As a counselor I’m often working with individuals on being in the present moment and practicing mindfulness. Truly being aware of your surroundings and appreciating the little things. The feel of the warm breeze on your skin, the smell of fresh cut grass, children laughing in the distance…whatever you can focus on to keep you grounded in the moment.

But I am also a realist and know that it’s also easy to get caught up in the thoughts of the 5,000 things that need accomplished today, 10,000 things you feel like you didn’t get accomplished yesterday, and you don’t even want to think about what lies ahead for tomorrow. Am I right?

But we also know that those are the moments the enemy likes to sneak into our days and complicate things. Those are the moments when it’s easy to slip away from the truth and take things from granted.

Those are the moments that instead of thanking your spouse for doing all of the dishes, you complain that they didn’t get the coffee ready. Those are the moments that we complain about the sun being too hot, but other’s are experiencing devastating floods. Those are the moments when we complain about having to get up and go to work, but others are struggling to get by due to unemployment. Those are the moments we are mad at our love ones, but others are grieving for just one more day with the ones they’ve lost.

Judas was probably motivated by greed and saw benefit in following Jesus, but nothing positive came from his behaviors. Actually we learn in Matthew 27, that he had such remorse for his behaviors that ended his own life. Judas lost sight of the truth.

So how do we not lose sight of the truth and take things for granted? I have to believe that having a grateful heart always keeps us in line with the truth and not take what God has provided to us for granted. And how to do that: put God first (Matthew 6:3), love one another (1 John 3:11), and build each other up (Ephesians 4:29).

There is always something to be grateful for, even in the darkest of seasons. So I challenge you today to think of all the wonderful things God has provided to you and thank Him for those things. I’d imagine this would probably be a good start to gaining a grateful heart.

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