This Thanksgiving, our extended family has rented a big farmhouse on the river, so we can spend quality time together. Four couples and young folks just returned from foreign service. I was making notes for the prayer before dinner – thanks for health, family, love. But actually, our gratitude should include many more basic precious gifts.
There’s been a lot of talk lately, it seems, about gratitude. There are gratitude journals and gratitude blogs and gratitude books – including a few to teach you how to be grateful. One item I read said that gratitude is your Magic Wand.
“Whatever you point gratitude at increases, expands and escalates.” But, the author warns, “You have to pick up that magic wand and use it.”
Being grateful applies, no matter who you are, no matter where life has taken you, no matter what your circumstances or your desires.
Wherever you are at this moment, is where you are meant to be. And there are things for which you can and should be grateful.
It may be the lessons you are learning, if things are tight financially. It may be the good health of your children or your parents. It may be your ability to put food on the table and take a shower when you need one and drink fresh water that won’t make you sick.
The only error would be to stop giving thanks – to the people who bring your joy or the deity who gives you contentment and peace.
Take time every day to write in your gratitude journal, even if it’s just a mental one. Think of all the things for which you are thankful and then go do something for someone else, for which they will be thankful.
That last task – doing something for which someone else will be thankful – That’s really a fun thing. People don’t expect an act of charity or kindness. They may be startled. Enjoy their response – and encourage them to pay it forward.