I think we need a little gratitude training around here. Thanksgiving Day encourages gratefulness and that’s a good thing. But something’s missing.
“I’m thankful for my family,” sounds nice, but who are you thankful to? Seems like that statement kinda goes up in the air like a whiff of smoke. There’s no landing-place for such a statement. Because God is rarely on the receiving end of the thanks giving.
The other day I sifted through the Thanksgiving cards at Target. They focused on thankfulness for family, friends, or the season. A few cards, placed in the religious section, offered a simple prayer. Many cards were humorous. (Admit it. You’ve laughed yourself silly reading the funny cards haven’t you. Me too.)
Where’s God in the gratitude?
You can learn a lot about our society by reading greeting cards. It seems that God is noticeably absent for Thanksgiving, at least in the card section of Target.
Compare this lack of God in Thanksgiving to the first official Thanksgiving Proclamation on November 1, 1777 by Samuel Adams: “It is therefore recommended . . . to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor.”
George Washington said this in his first Presidential Proclamation on October 3, 1789: “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”
You won’t find these types of sentiments in the card section of Target. Our culture needs a healthy dose of praise to our divine benefactor and Almighty God on this day of proclaiming thanks.
3 Simple Gratitude Training Ideas
- When you say grace before a meal, add something you are thankful for that happened in your day into your prayer.
- Before falling asleep at night, thank God for three specific things you are grateful for. Do the same when you wake up in the morning.
- If you have children or grandchildren, teach them to do the above with you.
I’m curious—what have you observed about people expressing thanks during this season? How much gratitude focuses on God? And . . . what do you do to cultivate gratitude into your life?
We can’t change the world, but we can change our little neck of the woods. Susan
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know . . . all of your friends would be nice.