Like tripping over the dog’s chewie toy in the dark, like falling off a log, like skittering drunkenly across the ice, it’s so easy to not be thankful: The glass is half-empty. It always rains on my parade. There was only decaf this morning. The AC isn’t working. Everybody around me is an idiot. What’s wrong with these people? Traffic was a mess. You get the picture. And we need repeated reminders that all earth’s inhabitants are not sent here on a mission to cater to us (at least that’s been my most disappointing discovery thus far). This thankfulness thing takes work, concentration, intentional others-mindfulness.
But here’s the good part: every tiny step after the u-turn from self-centeredness bears great dividends! Thoughts, words, gestures, actions executed in thankfulness mode unleash the Holy Spirit with such astonishing reciprocity that it’s frequently difficult to determine who is most benefited, the giver or the receiver. To be sure, even without messing around trying to measure the effects, the giver is unfailingly jazzed to do ‘it’ again, whatever it was. It’s a Kingdom principle that is kicked into gear.
Thankfulness is so in sync with the doting heart of love of the Father (recently mentioned) there are reverberations in all directions. And thankfulness softens the very heart of the one practicing this sorely-needed social art. It’s one habit eminently worth developing because of its ability to keep us in tune with what’s current in the Kingdom. Isn’t it funny that we have a celebration just one day a year in honor of this critically important life component? So, Thursday is the day! 24 hours of thankful! I’m starting early by saying, if you are reading this, you are one I’m very grateful to call friend. You enrich and enliven my life. You bring Jesus to the table, to conversations, to fun times. And Jesus? He loves it, too! PD
ps It’s OK to be thankful again on Friday. You won’t be breaking any rules. pps Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!