Weekly Thought – November 20, 2018
Fred and Mary Alice hosted Thanksgiving in their home for the family. Cultivating gratitude was a primary goal for them. They encouraged the sharing of thankfulness around the table. And then Fred would pray, bringing everyone before the throne of God. Fred’s writings are particularly poignant because they reflect emotional and spiritual discipline after being bed-bound and on dialysis 3 days a week.
BWF carries on the tradition of appreciation. Your support is deeply recognized. How much you mean to the ongoing work of the ministry. We pray your Thanksgiving Day brings great peace.
Personal Day of Thanksgiving
For quite a long time I believed gratitude was one of the strong antidotes for depression. Consequently, when I woke up at 3:00 one Tuesday morning feeling frustrated and going into depression from my immobilized and restricted condition, I knew I would be awake for hours longer. And I knew I had to get control of and change my mood.
Casting about for a workable idea, I thought about a day dedicated to thanksgiving. Because Tuesdays were spent recovering from dialysis with little or no mobility, I decided this would be the day. It was to be all day, so I had to plan out the time to make the most effective use. I set up five major categories:
1) Spiritual – I recounted my assurance of God’s love and His salvation. Then I thought of the many exhilarating experience I have had through the Spirit, including the people and places connected with these experiences. Next I thought of heaven and named all those who went on before, expressing gratitude for my time with each and remembering their effect on me.
2) Intellectual stimulation – I reviewed all the interesting thoughts I have been given through people, books, and other periodicals.
3) Responsibilities – I listed the website (breakfastwithfred.com), Saturday morning Fred in the Bed sessions, teleconference calls, and personal visits. I am particularly thankful for these opportunities because even bed-bound I can be useful and there is nothing better.
4) Environment – I expressed appreciation for a healthy atmosphere which supports this sick body, including the physical elements of pictures, music, and supportive care.
5) Relationships – I recognized the freshness of the Spirit coursing through my family and friends as they keep me in the flow and “in the loop.”
Some of my friends have been intensely interested in this idea. I reminded them it is a FULL DAY. Several of them thought they could cover it in 30 minutes. If they diligently attempted the exercise they soon realized the breadth of the endeavor.
After creating my five major categories, I broke them down and ended up with 40 sub categories. If I spent 20 minutes on each, I filled the entire day. Each time I went through them I tried to be more and more specific about the items in each. For example, when I considered spiritual experiences I thought about spiritual songs that have instructed and encouraged me. I named each one and tried to remember as many of the verses as possible.
Another example of a sub-category is hobbies. At 50 I began playing golf, not to shoot a low score, but to make a perfect shot. I only did this once when I made a hole in one without touching the green. It was a combination hobby and obsession. I ended up with 22 sets of sticks, 64 putters, and 25 wedges. I was thankful for the constant challenge. During my personal day I recounted many times of gratitude for experiences on the golf course.
Thanksgiving and gratitude should be down to the microlevel of our lives. There is no experience too small for which we can’t stop and say “thank you.”
This week of Thanksgiving carefully consider: 1) What would my personal day of thanksgiving look like? 2) How could I use this concept with my family? 3) What is my own experience with the positive effect of thanksgiving?
Words of Wisdom: “For quite a long time I believed gratitude was one of the strong antidotes for depression.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give him thanks! Praise his name!” (Psalm 100:4 NET Bible)