Going Through the Motions of Thanksgiving

Echo image for Nov

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, keep in mind that carving the turkey is no more important than carving out some time for gratitude. Long ago Cicero observed, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.”
Instead of just “going through the motions” of the holiday, how about going through these motions:
One motion of thanksgiving is outward, considering how to reach out to others. An unknown poet said,
“I sought my soul – but my soul I could not see;
“I sought my God – but my God eluded me;
“I sought my brother – and found all three.”
Think of someone who is lonely – can you make a phone call or a visit to brighten their day? Bring to mind someone who lacks he financial means to celebrate the holiday – can you find a way to share some of your resources?
As your first movement of thanksgiving, decide on way you will bless someone else in the next five days.
A second motion of thanksgiving is inward. Gratitude involves more than just compiling a list of the external possessions we enjoy. Look inside to see the qualities implanted in you by those who have loved and taught you. Appreciate that you have a mind to think about positive things, a will to pursue the best in life, and a spirit to live in a way that blesses others.
Plan a time this week to express gratitude for the way God designed you and the way others have shaped you in beneficial ways.
A third motion of thanksgiving is upward, to the generous Giver who deserves our thanks. Thanksgiving arises from an awareness that all the beauty of the world and all the joys of life are gifts.
Consider the wide range of good gifts you enjoy: health, family, friends, freedom, and faith. Your own personalized list will be much longer.
As a third movement of thanksgiving decide when you can carve out some moments of solitude before this day is over. Use that quiet time to offer thanks to the Creator for the multitude of blessings you have received.

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