Thanksgiving. It is not just for the fourth Thursday in November. For us who are in Jesus Christ, thanksgiving is a way of life.
Some of us see that quite easily; for others of us it is a struggle to maintain an attitude of gratitude. We’re fairly well trained– indoctrinated by our consumer-driven culture to have a sense of discontent with what we have. Generally we are taught to want something bigger, better, newer. We buy into the fiction that the “bigger, better, newer” will make us happier.
But somehow it doesn’t.
Thanksgiving is a way of life, and that way of life starts by counting your blessings. Did you wake up this morning? Did you have something to eat? Was your house warm? Did you have a plan for how you might accomplish the things that you had hoped to accomplish today? Did you have a few leisure moments to spend in prayer, perhaps reading Forward Day by Day? Was your health relatively good?
(Were you planning to have dinner tonight?)
At some times and seasons, it is a good idea for us to make what is known as a “gratitude list.” It is simple enough to do. Just write down on a scrap of paper the things, people, and circumstances in your life for which you are grateful. Stick it in your shirt pocket, or purse. Make the practice of taking that list a couple of times a day and read it over.
There’s a lot to be said about counting your blessings. But, like most things in life, it is an acquired skill. We do not develop thankful hearts by magic.
And… did your list include gratitude to God for the gift of His blessings? These include the forgiveness of your sins, the increase of Grace and virtue, and the ongoing guidance of the Holy Spirit in your life. I fear that it may be that most of us tend to take these gifts for granted. For if we took these blessings seriously, we would find our lives and ourselves transported– mystically changed– by gratitude and thanksgiving.