Learning the art of thanksgiving…

We live in a culture of ungratefulness.  Every TV commercial we watch is designed to tell us what we lack.  We NEED the latest phone, a better car, better clothes…  Social media has only magnified this.  We are constantly being told how awesome our friends lives, kids and vacations are.  It’s easy to be ungrateful.  It doesn’t take a lot of effort.  But being ungrateful is dangerous.

If you think about it, the first sin came from ungratefulness.  Adam and Eve in the garden had EVERYTHING they needed to flourish and thrive.  All the food they needed.  Everything.  There was only one thing they didn’t have.  The fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They could have chosen to be grateful and yet, they focused on the one thing they didn’t have.

Sound familiar?  Like we Americans who complain about not having enough money.  Like the beautiful girl who doesn’t like the way she looks.  Like the husband who wishes his wife was more like so and so…

It seems that a lot of evil comes from ungratefulness.

I was recently reading a book by Ann Voskamp called “One Thousand Gifts”.  The jest of the book is that the author was going through a difficult time.  A time of frustration with God, anger and doubt.  She began to write down 1000 things to be thankful for, and it changed her.

Paula and I decided to do the same thing.

After we got past the “Sunday School” answers of grace, our family members, etc… our lists started to change.  We noticed the things we were giving thanks for were much more specific.

Home-made chex mix.  Coca Cola (Classic, not that New Coke stuff). Flannel sheets.

Writing a thousand things that you are thankful for takes time.  Weeks or months even.  But the more you write, it seems the more specific you get.  The more you write, the more you realize how abundantly God has really blessed you.  The more you write, the more you begin to see God’s hand in everything around you.

Maybe that is why scripture talks about entering His gates with thanksgiving…  It might just be that learning to be thankful opens us up to enjoy all of God’s blessings.

I was going through a difficult time when I began the list.  What I have realized is that although my situation has not changed, my perspective has and that makes all the difference.

I dare you to write down 1000 things you are thankful for and see if it doesn’t change the way you look at life.

It did for me…

Just a thought,



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