As we enter the month of November, many of us take some time to pause and give thanks for the gifts in our life. Gifts like friendship, family, health. This year I am giving pause asking myself how do I show my thankfulness and gratitude throughout the year and not give special attention just around the Thanksgiving holiday? We can all create an attitude of gratitude that extends beyond the month of November. If we would pause daily or weekly we can identify persons, places and things to which we should extend our thanks. To have an attitude of gratitude means to examine our awareness of the love God extends to us and then to demonstrate our thanks and praise.
John Wesley writes, “Thanksgiving is inseparable from true prayer; It is almost essentially connected with it.” Is a time of thanksgiving a part of your regular prayer time? Do you acknowledge to God your thanks and praise on a daily basis for the gifts you receive? The gift of sight or the gift of employment. The gift of the bright fall colors or the gift of laughter with a friend. The blessing of God’s presence in our lives during difficult times and joyful times. Take time in your prayer life to give God thanks and praise. Be specific in your acknowledgement of the blessings God has provided in your life. The time spent in prayer deepens your relationship with God.
People create a church. People provide the energy and time behind the ministries of the church. Does your church acknowledge those in service in your church throughout the year? Give support to or assist in planning ways to say thank you to those in service. Within your church is there someone that you are grateful for? Consider remembering this person in your prayer time. Consider sending a note of thanks and encouragement.
An attitude of gratitude should extend beyond our personal sanctuary and the walls of our church. Over the next week as you travel in your community notice the activity.
You will see God’s creation on the move. Recognize the love and generosity given to us at the hands of God. Give thanks for the group of school bus drivers drinking coffee at QuikTrip while waiting for their next route to begin. Give thanks for the paramedic that responds to an accident scene. Give thanks for the construction worker repairing the road that you travel on daily. Give thanks for the teacher that inspires and encourages your child everyday. Give thanks for the server that served you while dining out. Consider offering thanks in person or sending a note. Consider remembering these people in your prayer time. Consider recognizing these people in a worship service.
I encourage you to be thankful this month for the blessings in your life. I encourage you to consider ways to actively demonstrate your thanks and praise. I encourage you to live into an attitude of gratitude that extends beyond November and becomes a part of your daily life.