Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holding on to Gratitude

Thanksgiving was a couple of days ago here in the United States and I’ve discovered that with each passing year, this holiday becomes more and more my favorite.  Most other holidays have a commercial component to them now and each one involves gifts except for Thanksgiving.  

Even though each year Thanksgiving grows on me on a bit, this year I think I finally understood why.  In church on Thanksgiving Eve, we were challenged to list all that we were thankful for out loud.  Pastor assured us to go on as long as needed and to not be shy.  As I started to say those people that I was thankful for I realized that after a short time, I could no longer speak.  Tears streamed down my face because how can you thank a great God who owes us nothing for everything we have?  I am breathing right now because he allows it.  Where can I even begin?  Pastor encouraged us to start small and continue to live a life of gratitude.  I was profoundly moved by this. 

Where do we begin?  First, start with our smallness – start with the fact that we are dust and then thank God for life and health and air to breathe.  Maybe family is next and then possessions.  But here is the tricky part – thanking him for pain and loss and all that challenge us in this life.  This is not easy, but if we are still breathing, that means that God has a purpose for us and he promises to be with us to help us.  

While the concept of constant gratitude is something I have been studying for nearly three years, I realize that I have much to learn and will probably never get it right in this life.  But starting somewhere is all we have to do.

The food is gone, the family has left, and I have almost recovered the kitchen from the madness.  The kids want to decorate for Christmas.  Me too…but I’m hesitating a bit.  Looking around at the simple orange pumpkins, cornucopia, leaves, and grasping the gratitude for just awhile longer. 

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