With a Grateful Heart

 By: Ryan C. Brown

By: Ryan C. Brown

This week, most people will be wrapped up in planning for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Some folks will be traveling, others busy planning holiday menus. Some people may be focused in on securing a great Black Friday deal or even day-dreaming that this year, the Detroit Lions will actually get a win on Turkey Day. Year after year, Thanksgiving continues to be the starting point for one of the busiest seasons of the year. 

Author Christine Pohl writes,

“Our busyness is often tied to working very hard so that what we have or receive does not seem like a gift. Our desire for ‘more’ feeds our busyness…”

Pohl goes further to say,

“Finding time to be thankful to God and others often seems like a nice extra rather than a vital component of our lives…Despite the cultural challenges we face today, a posture of gratitude remains a beautiful witness to the transforming power of God’s grace.”  

Whatever you find yourself doing this week, it is important to remember to take a moment for yourself to be thankful for all you have received. This short exercise will help you create space to take a few minutes to yourself and give thanks for your blessings. When you can, find a nice, quiet space where you can be alone and will be free of any distractions. Once you find this place, sit quietly, take a few deep breaths and begin to thank God verbally for all of the gifts that you received last year. You can do this for 5 minutes, you can do it for a half hour. Take as much time as you need to talk with God and to be thankful for all of the things that are coming to mind. When you are done, close with this short prayer; “Loving God, Thank you for the time to reflect and be grateful. May I always remember to express gratitude for my blessings. Amen.”

The author of Colossians writes, “Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” To keep both our physical bodies, and our communal bodies healthy, we must remember to prioritize time to be grateful. As the busy Holiday season approaches, prepare to welcome the new year by incorporating a practice of gratitude into your daily routine. May this practice be a physical display gratitude for all we have received, both yesterday and today.