Giving Thanks

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40 Days of Prayer: Day 9

Happy Thanksgiving!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post with a Thanksgiving message. We will release The Lord’s Prayer Part 6 tomorrow.

An estimated 46,000,000 turkeys will be eaten today. Just in case you are not good with all the zeros, that is 46 million turkeys. That’s a lot of birds! Why turkeys? Because that’s the tradition. Maybe you remember dressing up in homemade pilgram hats with the giant buckles in elemetary school. I personally sported a nice Piggly Wiggly paper bag vest for my Indian costume one year that would have made Ralph Lauren proud. Of course, it had a giant red pig face on it instead of a miniature polo player on a horse, but the quality was hard to deny.  Why did I wear it? Tradition. 

Traditions are valuable. Our experiences are defined by them. What’s your family’s Thanksgiving tradition? Do you sit around the table taking turns saying one thing that you are each thankful for? Do you write notes to each other and share them at a specific time during your gathering? Maybe you avoid the whole family gathering altogether preferring a quiet day watching movies or a football game. What’s your tradition? How do you spend the one day a year where the entire country presses the pause button—if only for a few hours— to think about gratitude?

This year I want to ask you to do something that may be different for you. Yes, break tradition, or maybe start a new one. Start an “If I didn’t have…I would” list. Hear me out on this. Make a list, not of things you want, but of what you already have.  Frame each part of the list in an “If I didn’t have (this) I would ([do/be/feel] this)” manner. Once you have your list made, number each item in order of importance to you. Now, ask yourself if you are living in a way that shows these items to be important to you.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a time to express verbally our appreciation for the blessings that God has given us. And we should do that. However, one day out of 365 (or 366, as it were, this year due to leap year) is not enough. So, say you are thankful today and prove it the rest of the year by how you live. Ask God for guidance, strength and courage to live a life of Thanksgiving.

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