Why be Grateful?

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, we might want to ask a question. Why be thankful? After all, the day will come and go. People will eat their meal and have their fellowship. Then, the following day everything will return to normal. It should be noted that many people around the world do not have the resources to have a banquet and celebrate. There are those who are fearful for their lives. That fear may come from any source ranging from family abuse to war.

Let us make some corrections about Thanksgiving. It is not the food. It is not the fellowship. It is not the glee. It is not the day off. It is not decorations. It is not the lack of any of those things in some parts of the world. The fact is that anywhere anyone throughout the world can have their own Thanksgiving Day because being grateful is a matter of the heart and not the external, superficial things.

The truth is that people that have the affluence and resources to enjoy a Thanksgiving Day dinner with fellowship of those near to them are probably the least likely people to have a grateful heart. They are wrapped up in the mundane, and the inconsequential.

So, what is Thanksgiving whether the celebration includes overeating or is accompanied by a few meager bites of food?

A grateful heart has the right balance between current circumstances and what is happening in the real world. Like the early settlers of the New World, it might be an appreciation to just be alive. It might be the recognition of those people around us that have helped us survive as did the Algonquin Indians who taught the pilgrims how to plant and harvest and fish.

A truly appreciative person looks beyond themselves to the Almighty God and recognizes that the benefits of life cannot exist outside the divine love that hovers over all of us. It is to say that God is absolute love. It is to say that God is concerned about the intricacies of our daily life. It is to say that God uses other people and circumstances to establish us in a better place for coming days. Divine intervention is more that the creator who made our world and sits back to watch his toys and see what happens. To be grateful to God is to indicate a connection between him and us. He knows our needs and orchestrates a means to satisfy them.

A grateful heart takes a new view of those in our lives. It is to admit that we could not make it without them. It is to enjoy the forgiveness from others and the encouragement they offer. It is a pledge to us that we intend to be a better person and reflect back to those people an ambition to be a blessing to them. Being thankful means to recognize that all around us could be gone in an instant, but it remains for our use, consumption, and enjoyment. When we are thankful, we admit our smallness and impotence over the realities of life. There truly are very few things over which we have control. Therefore, we are grateful that life has turned out to our betterment.

Celebrate your Thanksgiving Day, but make sure you do it with a grateful heart and not just a full stomach. Pray your prayers and tell your jokes and avoid what has been so heavy on your mind from this last year so that you can refocus on the good things of life and the good people in life. This Thanksgiving Day turn away from yourself and look all around remembering that you are still here to say happy Thanksgiving.

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