It is that time of year…Thanksgiving! What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Is it about Black Friday sales? Does it mean it is time for Christmas decorating to begin? Maybe you believe it is all about a huge dinner and some football games. Or are you a purist and it is all about the pilgrims and Native Americans around which the national observance was built?
A common tradition among many people on Thanksgiving is to state something that for which you are grateful. What does your list look like? Some may list family, friends, job, or even health. Are you grateful for “things” in your life? Is your list full of “I have this” and “I have that’s”? This past week on “Last Man Standing”, the teenage daughter called her mother’s grateful list “goofy”. Is that what we have come to today?
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Cicero
Today I want to pose a “what if”. What if you lose those things? We can lose our job, loved ones or even our health in the blink of an eye. A perfect example of this is Job in the Bible. He has everything taken from him-his family, livelihood and health. He is then encouraged to “curse God and die”
Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.” ~ Walter Anderson
For a moment imagine being in that place of desolation. Now, with “nothing”, how will you answer that question? What are you grateful for?
Job offers a response to thanksgiving in firmly stating that his relationship with God is not predicated on anything except the relationship itself. His praise and thanksgiving to God is not dependent on anything but the fact that he exists and is part of this awesome life and amazing universe.
We all have a choice each and every day to curse this life and die-or give thanks for being a part of this experience called life. At the end of “Last Man Standing” it comes out that the teenage daughter was going away to college and did not want to share her feelings about family, how much she appreciated them and how much she was going to miss them.
If you were stripped of all you “have”, are you still able to say yes to life? Find those things that are truly important in life. Put aside all of the drama those around you try to bring into your life and start living your life to the fullest.
“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” ~ Alphonse Karr
Oh, and by the way, Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Tell me three things that you are grateful for this season!