Have you counted your blessings lately?
I know I write about this topic every year at this time. But, if you are like me, it is still a good reminder. There’s something about our human nature that tends to take things for granted. You do it. I do it. We all do it. In the business of our lives, in the season of political opinion and debate, in the throes of whatever occupies our attention, we forget the importance of gratitude. We forget our blessings. We also forget that those blessings come to us from Almighty God.
Once we get past Halloween, our attention is shifted to the next holiday—Thanksgiving Day. It is said that Thanksgiving Day is what comes closest to a national holiday because nearly everyone finds ways to celebrate it. Often it is celebrated with elaborate meals. I once remember a couple in my office who were preparing for marriage. One of their big concerns was how they would manage to take in 5 family Thanksgiving dinners! But ultimately we are reminded that we are a people of Thanksgiving, for whom thanksgiving is supposed to a lifestyle.
We are people of the Eucharist. The word itself means an act of giving thanks. In the prayerbook, the prayer of conseecration is called The Great Thanksgiving. We assert in the Sanctus that it is “meet, right, and our bounden duty in all times and in all places to give thanks unto God our Heavenly Father.
An important part of stewardship is education about the needs of the church, but another important part of stewardship is learning to become truly thankful people. Have you ever thought about the familiar proclamation at the offertory, “All things come of Thee, O Lord, and of thy own have we given Thee.” Of course, that sentence pertains to our monetary offering, but it also refers to the very fabric of our lives. All that we are, all that we have, what we are becoming is a gift of God. Redeemed people learn ways to give thanks for all God’s gracious blessings.
Count your blessings. You will be surprised to learn that they are more in number than you ever thought. And here’s a suggestion—make the list and put it in your pocket or purse. During the day, habitually pull out that list and look at it. You may be surprised how giving thanks goes a long way in improving your outlook.