Thanksgiving is not a day on the calendar but rather an attitude towards life. I think it was Mark Twain who said we ought not to have a day of thanksgiving, but instead to have a day of grumbling. His point was that we should confine our grumbling to just one day and our thanksgiving to the other 364 days!
I read about a man who decided to put thanksgiving into practice. Every time he wrote a check he put a little notation in the bottom left hand corner. He wrote “thank you.” He did this when he wrote his power bill. He oftentimes felt that the power bill was more than it should be, but he was thankful that he had power so he could have heat, air conditioning and lights.
He put “thank you” on every check that he wrote for his mortgage. Again he felt like the interest rate was too high and his mortgage payment was more than it should be, but he was grateful that he was able to own a house.
He even wrote “thank you” at the bottom of every check that he wrote to the IRS. Now that is really being thankful! He had to write a quarterly estimate check. It seemed to be an awfully big portion of his income, but he was thankful that he lived in America and that he enjoyed all of the things that the United States government provided for him. He was even grateful that he could pay taxes!
Thanksgiving is really an attitude that we should express in all of our relationships. We are blessed to live in a great nation, to be alive today, to have the freedoms that we enjoy, and to be able to relate to people. There is a great old gospel song that says, “Count your many blessings. Name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
What does it take to help us become more thankful? Why is it that we have to get flat on our backs before we are able to look up? Why is it that we oftentimes have to become desperate before we realize that God has given us everything that we have? How can we be more thankful?
I read about a mother who decided she would no longer remind her children to write thank you notes for the Christmas presents. As a result the grandmother never received a thank you note for the very generous checks she had given.
The next year things were quite different. The children came over one-by-one in person to thank the grandmother. Hearing this a friend said, “That is wonderful. What do you think caused the change in behavior?” The grandmother replied, “Oh that is easy. This year I didn’t sign the checks.”
God has signed His check. He is so good! Don’t forget to say “thank you!” Commit this season to doing all your grumbling on one day (preferably when you are by yourself), then spend the rest of the days giving thanks to God and to people.
Grateful people are so much more enjoyable than grumbling people. My Dad said, “Some people cause happiness wherever they go – others, whenever they go!”
Move off Grumble Street and take up a permanent residence on Thanksgiving Avenue!