A trend began a few years ago on Facebook called the 30 Days of Gratitude. Basically, you post daily about something or someone you are thankful for in your life. I have been doing this for a few years now. It is interesting each year to reflect upon the many blessings in my life and it helps my attitude during the build up to the holiday season.
I don’t know about you, but I can become cynical about all the hype surrounding Christmas each year. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday, the lights, decorations, spending time with my family and of course its always fun to be surprised with a gift on Christmas morning! Still all the advertisements, the Black Friday deals, the rushing around, the stress of trying to find the “perfect” gift for a loved one, getting the house ready for guests, and so on…well, it can all become overwhelming. It threatens to rob me of the joy of the season.
This Gratitude experiment helps me to keep things in perspective. Instead of worrying about how clean my house is, I give thanks for a warm home and loved ones to fill it. Instead of complaining about long lines at stores, I give thanks for the ability to stand in those lines; I know many folks whose physical bodies make standing so long impossible. And instead of worrying if I’ve found the perfect gift for someone, I say a prayer of thanks for that loved one’s presence in my life and that I can afford to buy a gift to show him/her how much I care. It is really a matter of choosing how to look at a situation. It’s about having a heart full of thanksgiving. St Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians (5:20):
“…giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NRSV)
All that I have is a gift from God. It is for my benefit but also to bless others in my life. So rather than worrying or stressing, I pray that I might see the gifts God has given me and that I might use them to bless others, always doing so from a place of gratitude.
What gifts do you see in your life?
How might you use them to bless others and thereby glorify our Father in heaven?