In Church yesterday, the sermon was on “Thanksgiving”. I have listened to quite a number of gratitude-themed messages, but I could not help but think about the pastor’s words. One thing I have learnt and that fascinates me about God’s Word, is its ability to appear fresh every time.
No matter how many times one has read a particular portion of the scriptures, a new perspective can always be seen, as the Word is shown in a new light by the help of the Spirit we’ve been blessed with.
Humans definitely need to cultivate the habit of expressing gratitude. I am not just talking about showing gratitude to God, though you first have to believe he exists before any thoughts of gratitude to him can be conceived. Showing gratitude to the people we interact with everyday appears to be an issue for many persons.
The same way many persons feel they have a right to enjoy the gifts of nature without owing God any thanks, is the same way they feel they don’t owe anyone thanks for anything. Over time, we have gotten used to having some things done for us that we automatically take them as our right.
There are numerous examples of ways we fail to express gratitude. The waiter may be paid for his or her job, but that does not mean we cannot say a simple “thank you” to appreciate the service. How many children or husbands even bother to thank their mothers or wives for the delicious meal they just consumed? She spent hours in purchasing the right ingredients, preparing the meal, and serving it. The meal disappears down various throats in a matter of minutes, and every one stands up from the table without any expressed gratitude. After all, “it’s mum’s job”. However, they fail to realize that some other mothers do not really care about their families and would not mind making consumption of junk food the official family food policy.
Receiving gratitude serves as a stimulant. The recipient gets to know that what he or she does is really appreciated. For some it may not mean anything, but for others, it goes a long way to boost their confidence. Knowing that what you do is worthwhile, that you matter, that you are not just another unrecognized person out there can be a great boost.
Of course, being grateful is meaningless if that gratitude is not expressed. If you are thankful, say it! If you do not say it, you could as well not be thankful. Saying it reinforces the thought. Actions show our thoughts. The words you say, the gifts you give, would tell the recipient that you value his or her deeds.
Is there a particular time for gratitude? I do not think so. I believe that thanksgiving is not time-bound. Why wait until your wedding anniversary to tell your wife that you like the way she handles the kids, when you could tell her now, and tell her every day. In the same way, God should not be thanked only on one day of the year. The other days could also do with some thanksgiving.
Let’s make it a habit to be grateful always. Live your life as if no one owes you anything. That way, you’ll be grateful even for seemingly small deeds. It’s a time for thanksgiving. Give thanks!