Willie Spears

Willie Spears

Grateful

When my mother passed away I said why me. When I lost my job I asked why me. When my daughter and son received reports from the doctor that we didn’t like I wondered why me.

However, I didn’t ask why me when I was named outstanding graduate in the area of education at my alma mater. I didn’t ask why me when I received good money to speak or awards for teaching and coaching.

Isn’t it interesting that we ask why me when something bad happens, but when something good happens we never question why it happened to us. We are grateful for the good, but not for the bad.

I believe we should be grateful for the good and the bad.

In the fall of 1990 Garth Brooks released a song he co-wrote called Unanswered Prayers. The first line talks about football, so it’s one of my favorites. The chorus says: Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.

The closed door, the rejection, the betrayal may be part of the plan. I have learned not to fight every battle and to be grateful for the good and the bad.

If Judas didn't betray Jesus there is no death, burial or resurrection.

I believe trials help build our faith and get us ready for the next season of our life.

As a coach I learn more from a loss than I do from a win.

As a husband, my wife and I grow closer through tragedy than we do through times of peace.

As a father my children and I bond through adversity followed by love just as much as we do through the moments we laugh and make fun of each other.

Disappointment provides rigor. Rigor provides resistance. Resistance provides growth. We all need to grow.

Growth only happens when we are uncomfortable. We have to get out of our comfort zone and enter the zone of sacrifice and live an uncomfortable life if we are going to grow.

This happens when we respond correctly to bad situations and bad news. Joel Osteen said his father’s untimely death was the darkest time of his life. However, it propelled him to the brightest time of his life.

Sometimes bad news can make us bitter. Make us not care. That is a dangerous place to be. When we care less we are often careless. When we are careless we tend to hurt the people who are closest to us.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Tomorrow is also my wife’s birthday. Would it be wrong to give her a list of what I want her to cook for me for Thanksgiving? Is that a bad gift?

Her family has the most amazing Thanksgiving celebrations. It is always good. They do an excellent job of planning, cooking, eating, fellowshipping and having fun. Some years they have had a deejay, a dance contest and several games. My wife knows that if something happens between us I am still going to be at that Thanksgiving dinner. I have to come; I bring a unique talent to the party. That talent is eating. I am a great eater.

I encourage you to be grateful this Thanksgiving, but not only this week but always.

I challenge you to call, text or email just one person and send them a message of gratitude. Don’t just say thank you, but let them know you really appreciate them.

My wife’s grandfather was here with us last Thanksgiving, but he is not this year. Our hometown of Panama City, Florida was destroyed by Hurricane Michael last October. The city is still recovering, but things are better this year than they were last year.

For that we are grateful. We take so much for granted. We can do better.

I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for living in America, for my family, my job, my friends, my life and my health.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Willie Spears is a teacher, coach, author, minister and motivational speaker. He has been awarded teacher and coach of the year. He speaks to thousands each year through his business The Willie Spears Experience. Willie may be reached at www.williespears.com.

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