Are you tempted to come to a major holiday on autopilot? Consider a few ways to bring mindfulness into the meaning of Thanksgiving.
First: To Whom Are We Thankful?
Many years ago, while filling in for a teacher of an English speaking class in which the theme in November stood for thanksgiving, I asked a group of French women, “Let’s go around and say something we are thankful for.”
After a small pause, a voice shot out, “To whom, and for what are we to be thankful?”
I chuckled many times since then realizing I had the presumption that to be thankful to Godwas not a firsthand inclination in every culture.
Although many cultures celebrate harvest fests and celebrate a day of Thanksgiving, as we approach this time of year, let us remind ourselves that for followers of Christ, to Whom we are thankful is foundational.
Second: How Do We Live Out the Command, Always Giving Thanks?
When we are down and in distress:
Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!
Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
and rejoice and praise you.” I Chronicles 16:35
To whomever we speak and whatever we do:
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17
Third: Thanking God Brings Him Glory and Does Us Good
When We Glorify God:
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to the Most High. Psalm 92: 1
With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever. Psalm 86:12
But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. I Samuel 12:24
Advantages For Ourselves:
Thanksgiving allows us to feel better. Try it. Look around. Take time to remember.
Being thankful releases stress and lowers anxiety.
Giving thanks increases serotonin and dopamine, good brain enhancers.
Finally, Consider All God Has Done This Season!