Instead of turkey try thankfulness

Forget the history story, forget the Pilgrims, forget the Indians. Thanksgiving Day - this holiday has morphed into a day of gluttony as we gorge on the turkey, the ham, the sweet potatoes, the stuffing, the rolls, and the green beans. For some, it’s a day being glued to the television watching football. For others, it’s the obligatory visit to the relatives.

“Over the hill and through the wood, to grandmother’s house, we go!” Then to endure the uncles drinking beer while watching football, the aunts gossiping and the bratty cousins. Finally, the bird is placed down in the middle of the table and Aunt Rose announces her yearly warning, “Eat slow and talk!” But we rush through hoping it will soon be all over so we can go home. Ah, yes, it’s Thanksgiving Day.

Do we know what the word “Thanksgiving” means? Or have we forgotten? Thankfulness, it’s supposed to be about thankfulness.

Thankfulness isn’t practiced much these days. Complaining is so much easier! Somewhere in the Bible, it says “Give thanks in all circumstances.” What? Do they mean to be thankful for the bad things that happen to us? Perhaps they do. There is a psychological effect that comes with practicing thankfulness.

So here are a few quotes on thankfulness for us to think about this year:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” 

— Oprah Winfrey

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.”

— Marcus Aurelius

“People complain about the bad things that happen to ’em that they don’t deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things.”

— Cormac McCarthy from “No Country for Old Men”

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”

— Harry A. Ironside

“Thankfulness creates gratitude which generates contentment that causes peace>”

-Todd Stocker

“Every once in a while God allows you to stub your toe as a kind reminder to be grateful for the miraculous body attached to it.”

— Rachelle E. Goodrich from “Smile Anyway”

“We all go through hard times in life. It’s a part of being alive and it’s the reality we all have to deal with. There are times we forget our value as a person because we are so blinded with these thoughts of loneliness, emptiness, and ego. Somewhere along the road we become numbed with all the frustrations and dissatisfaction. But life itself isn’t always about darkness and sadness, Life is also filled with colors and that makes it beautiful. Along this path of darkness, there’s always light waiting to be seen by our daunted hearts. Our heart is gifted to see this light. It may be hiding behind those circumstances that we encounter; in a stranger, we just met at an unexpected place; a family who has been always there but you just ignored because of your imperfect relationship with them; it might be a long time friend you have or a friend you just met. Open your heart and you will see how blessed you are to have them all in your life. Sometimes they are the light that shines your path in some dark phases of life. Don’t lose hope”

― Chanda Kaushik

“Do not say, ‘But it is hypocritical to thank God with my tongue when I don’t feel thankful in my heart.’ There is such a thing as hypocritical thanksgiving. Its aim is to conceal ingratitude and get the praise of men. That is not your aim. Your aim in loosing your tongue with words of gratitude is that God would be merciful and fill your words with the emotion of true gratitude. You are not seeking the praise of men; you are seeing the mercy of God. You are not hiding the hardness of ingratitude, but hoping for the in-breaking of the Spirit. Thanksgiving with the Mouth Stirs Up Thankfulness in the Heart.

— John Piper, “When the Darkness will not lift: Doing What We Can While We Wait For God and Joy”

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