Friday, November 24, 2017

Finding Gratitude

"Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for." - Zig Ziglar 
"Reflect upon your present blessing, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." - Charles Dickens
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Gratitude is an increasingly rare commodity in today's world. It has always struck me as strange, and honestly quite sad, that within hours of a holiday that we set aside for giving thanks for the blessings in our lives, that we go into a commercial "holiday" dedicated to consumerism. A day no longer dedicated to gratefulness for what we have been blessed with but rather dedicated to the coveting of things that we have convinced ourselves that we "need."

Before the family has even had a chance to leave town, we are camping out at the store (this year I happened to catch an ad that stores would be open at 4PM, on Thanksgiving night, so no more camping necessary!-but that's another rant, for another time). Before the turkey has even had a chance to cool, we are clamoring for the latest deal on the hottest electronics. Before the pumpkin pie has even settled in our stomachs, we are in a mad dash to make sure the kids have the latest round of plastic that will surely be forgotten and discarded by next Thanksgiving.

We rush around town, we neglect time with family, we leverage our futures into the bondage of debt slavery (again, another rant for another time), and we're perfectly willing to step on our fellow man in order to save a few bucks. Simply put, we spend Thursday giving thanks and move right on into Friday, forgetting to be grateful.

Now there is nothing wrong with us having stuff, but all too often, it is the stuff that has us.

But what if we switch it up?
What if we spend our busy holiday season in service to our fellow man?
What if, instead of worrying about buying another round of plastic junk to keep the little ones happy, we instill in them a love of giving? After all, a wise man once said, "it is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35).
What if, instead of going out for that expensive meal, we volunteer at a local rescue mission?
What if, instead of treating ourselves to that new gadget, we donate to help save children?

If we were truly thankful for the blessings that we've already received, and if we decided to be conscious of looking out for someone else's needs rather than looking out for ourselves, I truly believe we'd find that we are a lot more grateful.


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