This week as we gather with friends and family around tables for food and fellowship we are called to reflect upon the blessings of this life. It is a wonderful practice that we maintain as a culture. Unfortunately, however, it can often be a fleeting hour, afternoon, or day where we momentarily pause to reflect before launching into the next activity, shopping, or event.
As Christians, we are called to live in a state of thanksgiving. For we believe that all we have comes as a result of God's provision, generosity, and abounding love toward us. As the psalmist wrote, give thanks to the Lord for his mercy endures forever. He continues by asking who can recount, or declare all his praise? Indeed we are brimming over from the abundance of God's goodness toward us. The pinnacle of which comes through the restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
We cannot in one day begin to fathom all that God has done, and is doing, for us. The challenge is to live in a place of thankfulness, not merely to recall it periodically. In fact, if we dwell or live in a place of thanksgiving it changes us. It combats cynicism, bitterness, and even the covetousness that can result from the highly crazed consumerism (such as Black Friday). It keeps us grounded in the most important things in life, namely the knowledge and love of God.
Remaining in thanksgiving transforms us. It molds our outlook, and it can mold the way we spend our time and energy as well. We are able to keep focused upon what is most important, rather than running in so many different directions. As we order lives, our heart shows forth the praise of God and it becomes easier not to get wrapped up in the copious distractions that bombard us during this time of year.
As we hit the pause button to give thanks this week, may it remind us that this is intended to be more than a moment. It is a way of living. God showers us with His mercy and love, and as we respond in thanksgiving we are drawn more wholly and fully to offer our lives to Him in return. I hope we, too, can echo the psalmist in praise for the mercies of the Lord, and be so overwhelmed by their number that our lives echo them daily.