Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankfulness

I was standing in the shower this morning just letting the hot water run down my back and thinking how thankful I am that I have an ample supply of hot water.  Then I thought that I'm thankful not just that I have an ample supply of hot water but that I have any hot water . . . or just that I have access to clean water, hot or cold.  When I start to peel back the layers of blessings in my life, I'm overwhelmed by God's goodness toward me.  In his weekly challenge to his church, my friend Jim Caple pointed out that ingratitude is not the opposite of thankfulness, apathy is.  Just taking God for granted and all the blessing that he showers upon us (like hot water, pardon the pun) is the opposite of thankfulness.  It reminded me, too, that the opposite of poverty is not wealth, but enough. Understanding that the more reasonable measure against which I should evaluate my circumstances is enough and not wealth, helps me put this in perspective. When I compare my life to those who truly don't have enough rather than the Donald Trumps and Bernard Madoffs of the world, I see how incredibly blessed I am.  I have so much for which to be thankful: a loving and supportive wife, two amazing sons and a wonderful daughter-in-law, a comfortable home in a safe and beautiful city, and so much more.  And lest I forget, I also have hot water!

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving Day and it's good that our nation sets aside that day to celebrate the blessings that we enjoy.  It's more important, however, that I live every day in a way that demonstrates my thankfulness for God's goodness to me. Living a life marked by thankfulness is good for me and for all in my circle of influence. 

What are some practical ways that you and I can demonstrate to God and to the world that we are thankful for all that God has given us?  In what ways does that influence those around us for the good?

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