What does it mean to be thankful? Why should we be thankful? What do we have to be thankful for?
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, to express gratitude for the many blessings in our life. During our Thanksgiving meal my family takes time to talk about what we are thankful for and we usually do not allow the perfunctory expressions of thankfulness for friends and family unless you can back it up with specific examples. Just saying "I am thankful for my family or my friends…" is not good enough. You have to be able to describe what about your family or friends make you feel grateful. What we are looking for is an understanding of what it means to be thankful and grateful. It is usually more difficult to express with specificity our gratitude.
It starts with Christ (from the center out).
Through Christ we learn how to live life to its fullest and be grateful for all that God has blessed us with.
The spiral represents the universe
(all that is, all that ever was, and all that will ever be)
In this spells God for He created the universe and everything in it.
At the end of the spiral is the Dove in flight that is the spirit of God who is in all of His children.
In 1863 Abraham Lincoln made the following proclamation: "It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."
So what does it mean to be thankful, to have a spirit of gratitude?
Why is it so hard to specify our thankfulness? Is it because we lack humility?
In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful,
but gratefulness that makes us happy.
G.K. Chesterton said "It is always the secure who are humble." I think it also fits to add "and the grateful."
We offer thanksgiving and express gratitude because of our experience of grace, unmerited favor that blesses us with things we have not earned but have been given as expressions of love.
What are your experiences of grace and expressions of gratitude? Be thankful.