Weekly Thought – November 22, 2022
Fred and Mary Alice established gratitude and thanksgiving as foundational for their family. They built into each child “Be A Blessing” was an essential part of the family vocabulary. Thanksgiving was Mary Alice’s favorite family celebration. And all year long whenever the family gathered around the table she would smile and say, “Now, THIS is Thanksgiving!”
Count Your Blessings
Gratitude is a very positive emotion. Han Selye gives it high marks in his celebrated spectrum of emotions. The grateful are among the happiest, most balanced individuals. They have an outward view of life. They have kept the old ritual of “counting blessings.”
Gratitude should start with the very basics: life, health, adequate food, clothing and shelter, love among relations, freedom, and a personal relationship with God. Too often we take the basics for granted. And focusing on the “big blessings” can distract us from recognizing and acknowledging those we just assume.
When I first read in the Psalms that God asks for “the sacrifice of gratitude” I wondered how that could be. Then on further consideration I saw when we are grateful we appreciate that another has done something for us we could not do for ourselves. The arrogant, self-sufficient ones find gratitude difficult. Too often we want others to need us, but resent needing others. God is saying to us He wants our egos to say, “Thank you. I need you – or as the hymnist says, “I need you every hour.” This is a humbling experience, but it is also exhilarating.
Have you stopped recently to make a list of things for which you are grateful? I hadn’t, so as I was thinking about this I quickly jotted down some: feet I can still use to walk 18 holes; a back that doesn’t hurt all the time; eyes for reading and seeing loved ones; punctuation, because without it I would have to read text out loud; enough coordination to drive a car; some discretionary money which I never used to have; my opposing thumbs that make hands workable; a comfortable place to work and something to do; some competitive souls to argue with and a pen and paper on which I made this list.
And if you need help, you can always add Heaven, grace, forgiveness, and the presence of the Spirit.
Have you made your list? If you’re not thankful by now, then shame on you. And if shame doesn’t work, then start writing down the reasons others should be grateful for you. That very short list might develop a great deal of gratitude.
This week carefully consider: 1) How long has it been since I made a gratitude list? 2) What difference would gratitude make in my personal and professional relationships? 3) Who needs to hear “Thank you?”
Words of Wisdom: “…When we are grateful we appreciate that another has done something for us we could not do for ourselves.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The LORD strengthens and protects me; I trust in him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to him in gratitude.” (Psalm 28:7 NET Bible)