A life of ThanksLiving
Helen Hayes MacArthur was an American actress whose career spanned over 80 years. While she was known as the “First Lady of American Theatre” and was one of 15 people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award — she wasn’t known by her family for being the best cook. When she was just about to serve the first turkey she ever cooked, she announced to her husband and son: “Now I know this is the first turkey I’ve ever cooked. If it isn’t right, I don’t want anybody to say a word. We’ll just get up from the table, without a comment and go down to the hotel for dinner.”
After making that announcement, she went into the kitchen to get the turkey. When she returned to the dining room, with turkey in hand, she found her husband and son seated at the table wearing their hats and coats.
Thanksgiving Day has morphed into a day of food and football, but it was instituted to be a day to recognize our blessings and be thankful to the One from whom those blessings come. For those who claim faith in God, an attitude of thanksgiving should characterize our everyday life — not just one day a week.
Some begin Nov. 1 with naming/posting/tweeting/sharing something they are thankful for and do so the whole month. What if instead of one day or one week or even one month we lived a life of ThanksLiving? Check out these verses of scripture from the book of Colossians that encourage us to be thankful: Colossians 2:6-7; 3:15; 4:2. The big question we need to tackle is … how? How can we become a people of ThanksLiving day in and day out? Thinking precedes thanking. Thankfulness arises in a heart that has been touched with the reality of God’s generosity and grace. It is easy to take blessings for granted. Even in the midst of our most difficult circumstances, if we think long and hard enough, we will be able to find something for which to be thankful. James tells us in James 1:2-4 that even in trials we can find joy. We also need to make sure to remove our pride. Henry Ward Beecher wrote: “A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” Be content with what you have. Don’t worry about what could happen, but be satisfied with where you are. And when someone helps you or gives to you, say thank you! Be thankful. Thanksgiving is a great day but ThanksLiving is a great way. #bethegood
Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor at Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org