We are annually reminded to be thankful during the Thanksgiving holiday and contemplate what we are grateful for. It’s a good and noble thing to do, but it shouldn’t be a once a year event; we should be practicing being thankful every single day of our lives because there is something we can find in each of those days we are given.
The obvious make the list – family, friends, health, etc., but so many blessings we tend to overlook. I think about my trip to Africa a few summers ago and it once again reminds me of all the things we take for granted in this country. Clean water, food, clothing, education, electricity, shelter, shoes, basic medicine, sanitation and so many needs we do not lack for. My eyes open up again to the stark reality of this world.
Aren’t you thankful that you can have a hope and a future? The same can’t be said for many people we came across during our trip. They didn’t even know what the word “hope” meant. There was no word in their language that would translate it because hope has never existed for them. It is more like a dream or fantasy – something that they could never actually have.
Be thankful you can have a future full of hope. And that you have the ability to give hope to others as well. There are many ways to help those in desperate need around the world. You may know of an organization that will put your thankfulness to good use, but if you are open to suggestions, please give strong consideration to World Vision, Samaritans Purse, or Visiting Orphans. You will find no better organizations that gives hope to children and families.
I am also reminded of a post from author John Fischer on being thankful:
“It’s hard to think of one vice that the virtue of thankfulness cannot render useless. One does not need to steal when one is thankful. A man does not covet his neighbor’s home when he is thankful for his own. No one craves more when he is grateful for what he has.
You don’t care if you get the important seat at the table when you are overcome with gratitude at simply being invited to the dinner. You don’t put heavy weights on other people’s shoulders when you are thankful that God has lightened your own load. You don’t have to try for the highest place when you are already grateful for whatever place you were given.
In the same way, a thankful heart cancels out pride and arrogance. No need to judge other people when you are thankful for who you are. No need to measure yourself by and compare yourself to others when you are thankful for what God has done in your life.”
The point is to be thankful on a daily basis and to be mindful of it always. It’s amazing what a good consistent dose of thankfulness and gratitude can do for not just our own lives, but those who come in contact with us.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday and remember to be thankful on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and all the days forward.