I have been thinking about how different life would be if everyone had a perpetual attitude of gratitude. What if Thanksgiving wasn't just one day a year? What if our lives oozed thankfulness? I know for myself that when I allow my heart and mind to dwell on all that I have to be thankful for as opposed to all that is wrong, I am a more contented and less anxious person. I also can't help but think about the melting together of the words thanks and giving. We often associate them with giving thanks for our blessings. But what if out of thanks comes giving? What if we allow thankfulness to reach down into the depths of our hearts to the point that it overflows and pours out into the lives of others and that is the giving?
What if the holiday of Thanksgiving wasn't merely a gluttonous pause before the Christmas shopping marathon? I believe that if we live a life actively attentive to being thankful for everything God gives us, giving thanks will become a way of living. It will be year round and it will overflow into Christmas in such away that we will not be stressed about what gifts to buy someone out of obligation. Rather, because we are so incredibly thankful for everything God has done in our lives we will be enthusiastically seizing opportunities to give to others not just at Christmas but year round.
Let's think about what that could look like for a moment... Thankfulness for everything that God has given running so deep that I don't want to buy anything else for me that I don't need, instead I want to bless others. Then by blessing others by feeding them, clothing them, loving them, helping them, they become so thankful that they pour out their gratitude into the lives of more people. If the cycle continued this way maybe even world hunger would end! What if thankfulness is the medicine to cure the materialism we are plagued by?
Maybe there are some of you who think you don't have much to be grateful for. Maybe this is your season of trial and sorrow and you can't think of a single blessing. Then thank God for the trials and the sorrows. I know from experience that the trials and the sorrows are the real blessings. I have seen the blessings in such trials as miscarriages, loved ones passing, and job loss. The blessing comes from letting God walk with you through them hand in hand and bring you through to the other side stronger and closer to Him. The blessing is nearly invisible during the trial but it is there. For those of us who are not enduring trials and sorrows right now it's time to show our gratitude by helping those who are.
As Thanksgiving day approaches will you join me in making thanks and giving a way of life? Take the time to thank God for EVERYTHING He has done in your life but not just on one day out of the year. Why not make it an every day habit? Then we can take our blessings and our gratitude and pour them into the lives of others!