This week, we celebrate another Thanksgiving. Over the years, I have watched – to my dismay – our unique holiday celebration of Thanksgiving, be pushed and crowded out of our collective conscience, as Americans. Each year, Thanksgiving seems to fade further, and further into the background, in deference to its bookend holidays of Halloween and Christmas. In fact, almost as a mockery, many people have stopped using the word Thanksgiving, calling it instead turkey day.
But, for me, Thanksgiving will always be my favorite holiday, next to Easter and Christmas. I can’t think of anything more enjoyable than gathering with family and friends, around a wonderful meal, for the express purpose of giving credit, where credit is really due, to the creator of the universe, for all of our many blessings.
Thanksgiving is all about gratitude. The word gratitude comes from a Latin word meaning grace, graciousness or gratefulness. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for all that we have, beginning with life itself. With gratitude, we acknowledge the goodness of God, and His goodness to us.
Recent published studies show an association between gratitude and an individual’s well-being.
In one study, they asked groups of participants to write a few sentences each week. One group wrote about things they were grateful for, the other group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them. After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives.
Gratitude helps us refocus on what we have instead of what they lack. And just like a muscle, it atrophies or gets stronger with use.
So this Thanksgiving, join the psalmist – with an attitude of gratitude – in saying,
How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. We celebrate His abundant goodness and joyfully sing of His righteousness.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1