Today, as we approach the holiday season, it would be good to ask ourselves this question – Where does thanksgiving start? All of us know it’s not from getting more carbs, football, and black Friday deals. The reverse is actually true. The more we have the less grateful we tend to be.
So, how do we experience thankfulness? To answer this question I want to share a childhood memory.
My dad had an unorthodox method for getting his kids out of bed and ready for school. He would open our rooms, flip on the lights, and sing with gusto, “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” To many today, this sounds like a mild form of child abuse. However, for us kids, as we rubbed the boogers out of our eyes, we wondered, “What is he so happy about?”
Dad chose one of the hardest occupations known to man – leading a local church. Leadership and management guru Warren Bennis has said the three hardest jobs in the world are being the president, managing a hospital, and pastoring a church. Yet in the pressure of it all, our home was happy, hopeful, and positive. I know that was because dad and mom made the decision each day to rejoice in the Lord. For them each day was a gift. Their attitude was, “Come what may, we will rejoice in the Lord.”
You won’t catch gratitude like the flu. A thankful spirit will not take possession of you. You have to choose it.
I want to encourage you to try something this Thanksgiving. You know the important people who will be around the table for turkey. Write a personal letter to for that special someone. Maybe it’s a parent, sibling, or spouse. Then, go above and beyond. Actually read it to them. Make it a big deal. Celebrate the contribution they’ve made in your life. As you do you’ll discover the starting place of thanksgiving.
Psalms 9:1-2 says, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.”