As we enter into the final months of the year, our hearts start to reflect on everything that has happened this year. The new friends we’ve made, the lessons we’ve learned, and the changes both joyous and challenging that we never expected. And eventually, we point our headlights towards our hometowns to celebrate Thanksgiving. I hope that Thanksgiving is not just a day that we celebrate once a year, but rather a posture of the heart throughout the year. In this post, I want to share a quick reflection about how thankfulness informs our past, present, and future.
First thankfulness helps give our past a positive context for reflection. We’ve all been through difficult things. No one comes to a Thanksgiving table without scars from wounds suffered during the year. For some of us, those wounds are embodied by a person who died too soon. Others feel the loss of a job they no longer have. Many more miss someone who chose to walk away. But regardless of what we’ve been through, we’re still here. We made it this far, and that is something to be grateful for. Beyond that, most of us can look back and see how God has been faithful to us this year. For the Israelites, it meant collecting stones from a riverbed to remember kept promises. For me, it tends to come by looking pictures of things that happened that I would never have expected. Whatever it may be, find a way to reflect on the past with gratitude. It will give you confidence for the present.
As we look at the present, our gratitude should inform how we live. Because I am grateful to make a living doing something I love, I want to work with excellence. The more I consider the gifts of life and health, the more I want to give my all when I workout. The more I consider how blessed I am to be surrounded by talented musicians the more I want to be an excellent songwriter. I believe that gratitude inspires greatness. As we are reminded, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” – Luke 12:48
Finally, I think our gratitude for both the past and present should give us hope for the future. When we consider where we have been, and where we are, we should have tremendous optimism for where we are going. After Thanksgiving, we start to look towards Christmas and then on to the New Year. As we consider 2019: all the memories we will make, surprises we could never have imagined, and all the changes that lie ahead I hope we are full of gratitude. May we never lose sight of the fact that The Great Author is writing our stories, and He writes really good stories.
I’m grateful to each of you that took the time to read this.