We have now entered a season where we are suddenly thankful. Why isn’t thankfulness a more prominent theme through-out the year? A grateful heart does make for a more content life. It does make me wonder how many more ‘thank yous’ would be given out if they would exponentially increase the amount of that item you received. For example, let’s say that you have just received a bonus from your employer. You appropriately thank your boss and are immediately given another bonus! That sounds like a good deal, right? Of course, the human heart is inherently evil, so that would just set us up for abuse. Then are you really thankful for that, or are you just doing what you need to do in order to get what you want?
Alright, well what about non-material things? Your spouse comes home after a long day and you notice that they are a little glum. You, appropriately, go over to them and give them a hug. They say ‘thank you.’ You then give them another hug. This sounds nice, right? Sure, but I guess that could be manipulated also.
What about if we approach this with a real heart of gratitude? What if we all appreciate each other? What if we express gratitude to each other as a way of life with no strings attached? That way no one expects to get anything in return, but are even more exited to be appreciated in return.
You see, thankfulness is not about what you get, it is about what you give. If each person is thankful, then the world naturally becomes a better place. If I appreciate my kids more, then I also show them I love them more often.Then they learn it and do it themselves! If I wake up each morning thanking God for a new day, then my attitude might be just a little different about that dreaded activity I need to do that day. If I thank God each night before I go to bed, then I recognize each day as an important part of God’s plan for my life. It all matters!
Having said all of that, here are a few things I am thankful for right now.
Arriving Home Affections — I love coming home to my kids. They come running everyday. My daughter will say “dah” and hold out her hands. This is something I don’t want to see end, even though I realize it will. I sit down and kids come to sit close to me. My daughter will back herself into my lap. It is something I am thankful for everyday.
Leaving Home Affections – When I leave in the morning, I get all kinds of hugs. I have mentioned before the “one more hug” scenario at my house. My kids just love to give me hugs before I leave. I always have time for just one more.
My Wife- She does more than she gets credit for, even after I nominated her for a gold medal. That being said, she puts up with a lot with all the boys in the house. I am thankful for her willingness to stay home and invest in their lives. It will pay off in huge dividends.
A Job- I do not take my job for granted. In youth ministry there is often a significant amount of turnover. I have been here 6 years now. I thank God everyday for the opportunity to be a part of what He is doing.
A Hope- With many people’s lives spiraling out of control, I am thankful that God has given me hope for a future. Salvation is more important than any piece of material wealth I could accumulate here. As one who follows Jesus, I would encourage everyone to follow Jesus. There is no sin you have committed that is too big for Him to forgive!
This is just a sampling of what I am thankful for. I know that everyday is filled with small blessings that are overlooked. I think we all live healthier lives when we stop doing things in order to get something we want, and instead take time to appreciate all that we have been given.
I guess you could say that I am thankful for thankfulness, and I hope we never run out.