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Thanksgiving Takes Practice

Posted on November 19, 2009
Thanksgiving takes hard work.  You'd think you would come by it naturally.  But we don't.  I've never met a person who is happy, and who is not immersed in thankful thoughts.  I've found that only those who regularly look on the sunny side have a shine to their lives.
 
Gratefulness is learned.  And it takes discipline.  It requires practice.  Like brushing our teeth, it is an acquired habit.  A habit of brushing contributes to physical well-being.  Thinking intentional thankful thoughts contributes to mental well-being.  (Colossians 2:7)
 
A check list for the good things in your life can be as mundane as being thankful for:
All the complaining you hear about the government, because it means we have freedom of speech.
The clothes that fit a little too snuggly, because it means you have more than enough to eat.
The taxes that you pay, because it means you have a job.
I find when I personally start to drift toward the negative, I am focused on some elusive destination.  My attitude tends to be that I'll someday "pull into the station".  I will have arrived when I accomplish "thus and so".  But even if I attain or get close to a particular goal, I've come to realize that I'm still not satisfied.  I can easily lose sight of the incredible richness of my life as it is, even despite (and probably because of) my own personal chemo-radiation-surgical battles with cancer, business failure, personally going broke, divorce, and Dad's suicide.
But how can we be grateful no matter what happens?  The basis for all thanksgiving is the fact that the God who created the cosmos (along with you, me, and everything in it), offers us salvation through Christ.  Sorry, but we're all rotten to the core by nature.  But He sacrificed His own son, and raised Him from the dead, because of His immense love for us.  And we have the option to receive this priceless gift by surrendering to Him our heart, soul, and mind.
No decision we'll ever make, will bring us more peace of mind this Thanksgiving, than this one.  A decision to accept a gift that is totally free, yet costs us everything.  (Matthew 16:24-25)

Happy Thanksgiving
Gary

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