Years ago there was a list the US Forestry Service put together that were actual comments left on comment cards at wilderness areas. Some of the ones that I really liked:
"Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill."
"Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests."
"Chairlifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them."
There were two things I noticed about these comments (after I snickered for a while). First, they all have to do with making the individual's visit better. Sometimes I find myself doing this in my daily life - rather than look around at the many blessings I have - I want to things to be better. I chose to be frustrated by traffic, schedules, my to-do list and people who frustrate me. How much better would my days be if I were thankful that I have a car to drive, children that have things to do, the ability to get things accomplished and the privilege of being in a community where I am only frustrated by others and not physically harmed by insurgents, suicide bombers, or an oppressive military.
Second, I think the people who made the comments failed to see the reality of the situation. Wilderness is called WILD-ER-NESS precisely because it is "wild-er" than other areas. The same goes for the world around us. We are subject to sin and it's effects all around us. While that can be challenging, uncomfortable and less than optimal, it is the nature of our surroundings. However, just like there is beauty and goodness to be found in the wild -- there is beauty and goodness to be found all around us. We just have to be willing to focus on the right things.
God clearly advises this in Colossians 2:6-7 "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."
May you find joy in Christ by giving thanks for the blessings we have amidst the day - Cynthia