Thanksgiving Is A Mind Set

Imagine being at a concert and your favorite singer steps out onto the stage and begin singing the most cherished song of your dreams directly to you.  The singer points and smiles at you while singing and also winks and finally throws a kiss directly to you.  In response you stand up instead of remaining in your seat and with great zeal begin reaching, no, you begin stretching your arms and opening your hands toward the stage as if to receive everything the singer continues throwing directly to you.  As you stretch and open your hands, your body begins to move in rhythm with ever move the singer makes and your facial expression radiates with such a smile and relaxation that one would think you just completed an hour facial massage.  Finally your voice cry out over and over again the name of the singer and you make these repeated cries without shame, without concern for those around you, without getting tired and with great pleasure.  Why would you behave in such a manner?  Because of your “thanksgiving” toward the singer’s music, songs, personal attention given to you, giving you direct eye contact and publicly making you feel special, your automatic response is one of thanks.  

Thanksgiving is an individuals decision to respond to the one through whom life has been enhanced.  Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that for some strange reason has been restricted to the final Thursday of November.  Thanksgiving was originally a celebration lifestyle in continual response to the abundant grace poured into a nation, a community, a family or an individual.  The formal designation of a date set aside for giving thanks is uniquely American.  James W. Baker states in his book, Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday, “despite disagreements over the details” the 3-day event in Plymouth in the fall of 1621 was “the historical birth of the American Thanksgiving holiday.”  

It is always good to give genuine thanks to God for all of his goodness and mercy and grace which is outpoured into each of our lives daily.  The joy, the celebration, the tears, the shouts of thanks are truly welcomed in special feast days as Thanksgiving because it conveys a spirit of sharing, warmth, rest and reflecting.  The mindset to give thanks on Thanksgiving or at any other time throughout the year can only happen when we take time to reflect on the blessings and not the disappointments of the day.  Thanks can only happen when one is able to reflect on what has been given to them instead of what has been lost.  Thanks can only happen if one is willing to look forward to the opportunities of tomorrow with optimism rather than focusing on the failures of yesterday.

Offer up thanksgiving for 5 things that have enriched your life over the past year.  By the way, the information in the first paragraph describing how one responds to a singer at a concert is actually the Hebrew definition of Thanksgiving and how one responds to being blessed.


2 Responses

  1. Great point on Thanksgiving sometimes forget its true meaning to be thankful.

    • Being alive provides each person with options which is something to be thankful for all by itself.

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