For God’s creatures, it is our very lives that bring glory and honor to God, when we recognize our place in the Creator’s work through which it all began. One bright sunny morning, a flower shouted, “I am so thankful that I have the ability to create perfume and lovely colors.” There was a bee flying nearby that reminded the flower, “It is only by my efforts, that the flower is pollinated and thus, able to bloom and create fragrant beauty. The bee flew around some more and began giving thanks for its ability to make succulent honey. The same flower nearby, overheard him and reminded the bee, “it is only by my nectar that the honey is able to be made.” God overheard them both, smiled and said, “It is by my grace alone that you were created and in me alone, can you find your being.”
We are all dependent on God and on each other. Our utter dependence on God though gets lost in our sense of independence and self sufficiency. We sometimes forget that all we have: portfolios, real estate, transportation, families, and friends may seem to us as representations of our own hard work and sacrifices, but all we have are truly gifts from God. “All things come of thee O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.” God is the source of all for which we are thankful.
Our ability to be thankful comes out of joy and an awareness of the source of grace. There was a young teenager who told his mom that no one liked him at school and that everything was going wrong. Mom gently reminded him of the family who loved him, the home in which he lived, and her care and concern for him. She asked him to try an exercise to help him remember all the graces in his life. “Son,” she said, “each day write down on a sheet of paper, no less than ten things for which you are thankful.” After trying this for a few months, the young man’s book of thanksgivings, became pages and pages of joyful reminders of God’s grace in his life. We should at all times and in all places, think on those things that reflect the glory of God.
God calls us to take time today, and every day, to meditate and give thanks for all that we have, all that we are, and all that we do. We can begin to discern that for which we are thankful, through this young man’s new spiritual discipline. As you spend the rest of this day with family and friends, feasting, watching parades and football, remember to give thanks to God for all which God has graced you. As the food is put away, the games and parades blend into old movies and holiday concerts, take some time to pray. Carve out ten minutes and jot down some concrete examples of things for which you give thanks.
In those precious moments, praise God and rejoice in all that you are, all that you have, and all that you are able to do. Rejoice in the Lord today. As Thanksgiving becomes Advent, and then Christmas, remember that we are not alone, because God has graced us with His presence. God sustains our lives, God gifts us with life itself. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, his love endures forever.