I think it's a good thing that we have a built-in reminder during the year that we should take some time to ponder and be thankful for all of the amazing blessings that we have, especially here in North America. It's a positive holiday that isn't so much focused on materialism as other holidays, but instead on reflection and gratitude. There aren't any gifts that you feel like you have to give. You're not wasting a whole ton of cash on a shopping spree. You're just spending time with family and friends and celebrating life. Those who are far away from family get welcomed into the homes of others to share a meal and spend time together. Awesome. So many people receive so much genuine love from others during Thanksgiving. I don't know how this messed-up world managed to escape still with one widespread, valid and legitimately celebrated holiday, but I am thankful for Thanksgiving itself.
Today, I am extremely thankful for:
- the opportunity to rest this weekend
- my job and all of the people who support and encourage me in it
- my relationship with Jesus
- my family
- my friends
- Nadine, my girlfriend
- my home
- easy access to food
- heat (it's cold outside today!)
- clean water
Now, here's the second part of the deal. I believe wholeheartedly that our thankfulness should not end with our own personal reflection. Our thankfulness should overflow into a stewardship, a responsibility, a response to all that we have to be thankful for.
I am thankful for my easy access to clean water and food that the majority of the world's population does not have. That's not just something to be thankful for; that's a responsibility. I encourage you this weekend to give financially to those around the world who are in need. World Vision is one solid organization that you might consider giving to this weekend.
I am thankful for my girlfriend, my family and my friends. I encourage you to go out of your way to show appreciation to the important people in your lives this weekend and to spend time with them.
I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to reflect on the blessing it is that we even exist and have life right now. And for those of you who share my belief in Jesus Christ, I encourage you to spend some time today to just thank God for himself, and for what he's done for us.
What are you thankful for this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend? And what steps will you take to put your gratitude into action?