As we approach this time of year, we move our thinking to gratitude and giving. I know we should be that way 365 days a year, but I’m glad we have a season that helps move our hearts and minds in that direction. My wife and I were talking this morning about how blessed we are. Oh, we can compare the list of our aches and pains with the best of you, but it could be a lot worse.
The season of Thanksgiving should lead us into thanks-living. Taking a calendar and writing down one thing you are thankful for each day would make a great exercise. Of course, I would put God on top of the list: how He loved me and sent His Son to invite me back into a right relationship with Him. And I am thankful for my family and partners in the ministry.
I am also thankful for you. Yes, you. I am thankful every time you pick up this article and read it. I just hope and pray that once in a while, it blesses you. But I am thankful for many other things:
- I am thankful the election is over. Over the course of this last year, our minds were bombarded by so many negative ads I felt as though I were living in a media garbage dump. I am glad the election is over and we can get back to our personal soap operas.
- I am thankful for tiny grins. Nothing lights my life up more than when Titus the Honorable and Cohen the Goodhearted enter a room and see their Poppy. The grins that spread across their faces stir this old man’s heart.
- I am thankful for the George Foreman Grill. Next to the wheel, this must be the world’s greatest invention. You can cook almost your entire Thanksgiving dinner on this little contraption. You can also grill steaks, burgers, chicken, seafood, pork and, if you’re so inclined, you can throw a few vegetables on it. The only thing it doesn’t do is pop popcorn. I believe God created the George Foreman Grill on the sixth day and then rested.
- I am thankful for the five-second rule. You know this one: when your kids drop food on the floor, if you pick it up within five seconds, it hasn’t had time to become contaminated. This rule came in handy for our children, and it now applies to our grandchildren as well. The only thing better than the five-second rule is the 10-second rule.
- I am thankful for Duct tape and Velcro. These are tied for fifth place. If something is broken and you can’t fix it with one of these, the other will work. And what these don’t fix, Jesus can. That’s why you need all three.
- I am thankful for old, comfy clothes. After being dressed up all day, coming home and slipping on something old and worn makes your body say, “Ahhhhh.” It doesn’t matter how ragged or stained the clothes are or if the elastic is gone, wearing them just feels good. And I thank God most of mine fit this description.
- I am thankful for exact change. Actually, this one belong to my wife. She will hold up an entire store while she digs through her purse for the exact amount she needs. If something costs $10.99, she finds great joy in giving the checkout clerk 10 dollars and 99 cents. I could care less if I end each day with a pocketful of change. But she is grateful for exact change.
- I am thankful my “I love Jesus” bracelet” (which cost 50 cents including free shipping) finally arrived after 68 days of floating around the world.
- I am thankful for my Garmin Vivo Fit 2. I can’t go to bed each night without having putting in a minimum of 11,000 steps. It lets me know when I have fulfilled my self-imposed goal, and I can now get some rest.
- I am thankful I don’t have to go to the library anymore. I can now check out books electronically on my Kindle. And if I don’t finish reading a book in 14 days, the library automatically repossesses it, saving me from overdue book fees.
The Bible reminds us that not only are we to be grateful for everything but also in every circumstance, because God is at work in our lives: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).
I know for many of you, this has been a rough year. Unexpected things have come your way, and it has not been easy. But there is no better medicine than a grateful heart. Happy Thanksgiving!