By Doug Inglish … I know it’s after Thanksgiving, but I’m grateful that I have a job and that I love it, but it would have been nice to have had the time to do this article when it was requested. Instead, I got to hop around to several cities on the first stops of our Town Hall meetings, then to my brother’s house to spend time with my siblings, kids, and dad.

During that time, I had many opportunities to reflect on what made me thankful. Of course, you can guess what a lot of them are, and maybe those things are so common as to be cliché, but that doesn’t mean we should take them for granted.

I get along with my brothers, and my dad is still sharp at age 91, and my kids are active in church, and I’m closing in on 40 years of a continuing honeymoon, and I live indoors, eat plenty, and have good health. I think I can check all the boxes and say I am grateful for all of them.

But it wasn’t just my vacation time when I was able to reflect on blessings. In the days leading up to my time off, I was in many hotels and on a lot of airplanes, away from my wife and not getting good rest. Eating on the road usually means a lot of poor choices with limited options, which was undoubtedly a factor. Meetings ran long after sunset, and I had to get up early to get through security for a flight. Through it all, I was aware of some special blessings that are mine.

I work for the Rocky Mountain Conference, so those days on the road, I saw a lot of beautiful landscapes. I went to meetings with people who care enough about the church’s mission to show up and talk with us about it. We had lots of good stuff to share with them, like a strong financial picture, a newly organized church, some baptisms, and some ordinations.

And I spent those days with Mic Thurber and Darin Gottfried, men of sound judgment and exemplary character who love the Lord and are dedicated to making good decisions and doing the Lord’s will, and who are, by the way, delightful to be around. Already it is becoming evident that we consider it a privilege to share the journey with each other, and we look forward to seeing how the Lord is using our pastors, teachers, and lay leaders to spread the gospel. We may tremble at the thought of leading those terrific people, but we know that we are not alone. We have a healthy constituency, we have solid leadership on all our committees, we have each other, and we have the Lord as our guide. More than that, we cannot ask.

I hope that when you think about your place in God’s work, that you too are grateful for what He has given you to fulfill your role. I pray that you can say that your fellow elders, or Sabbath School teachers, or school board members are godly, dedicated people with whom you delight to work. I pray that you have a budget to accomplish what must be done. I pray that you see growth.

Yes, I was grateful during the holiday. Very, very grateful. But even the tiring trip before my vacation was full of opportunities to be aware of my blessings, which made my return to the office also a happy moment.

May each act of service that you do for the church’s mission likewise be a blessed experience.

–Doug Inglish is RMC vice president of administration and stewardship director; photo by Unsplash