We have only this breath. Isaiah 42:5: says “…the Lord…created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it” (NRSV).
As we approach the annual Thanksgiving celebration, each of us knows the world, our country, our provinces and municipalities could be in a much better state; we could be more, have more, do more. At this time I recall the presentation by Ken Yasinski at an annual national convention when he spoke on “becoming a living thank you”. What a wonderful way to express gratitude!
There is much research on the science of gratefulness (better memory, fewer physical or mental problems, more satisfaction with life), but the important thing for believers is that God is due our gratitude first and foremost since God made possible everything we have, whatever this is for each of us. All is Grace. Remembering to give thanks for the least to the greatest of us in terms of material things. The research also shows that there is a limit to what makes people happy or content, and those things are more apt to be intangible than tangible, once one’s basic needs are met.
This year is particularly poignant as the world witnessed the recent devastation in Indonesia, and brings a new perspective to the Ontario and Quebec tornado devastation. People may be homeless as of two weeks ago, but the people that came into their lives to offer many different kinds of assistance give reason to thank God for blessings small and large. A child in my community, when asked how he was managing after leaving his former home with his family, said his home was wherever his family was. We could take a lesson from that statement.
Those who are unable to offer physical or financial assistance to assist this wounded world may take a bit of time to pray especially for those among our human family who’ve lost lives, loved ones, livelihood and/or homes.
This year, make the decision to be grateful, rather than waiting until we feel grateful. Choose to express gratitude after which gratitude will arise.
May God bless us this Thanksgiving with family, whether physically near or near in our hearts, peace of heart, acceptance of His great mercy and compassion as we face struggles, and a joy that only comes from knowing God is with us. May we continue to be inspired by the gifts of the Spirit.