The power of a grateful heart

Published 9:26 pm Thursday, November 28, 2013

As you can easily see anytime you turn on the news, it is easy to fall into the trap of anger and impatience.

We certainly do not live in a perfect world, and there are plenty of things out there to upset us, across the globe and in our own backyard.  Nevertheless, anger does not have to rule the day.

Thanksgiving presents us with an opportunity for a solid defense against a mentality of constant annoyance, and that is this thought:  There’s simply so much for which we should all be grateful.

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This Thanksgiving, take some time to quietly reflect and do an inventory of all the things in your life for which you should be thankful, and be sure to start small.

For example, how many of us have beds that we get to sleep in each night?

This is a daily blessing that you might appreciate more when visiting family and find yourself on a couch.

And though we should be thankful for that bed as we get out of it each morning, how often do we stop and say “Thank you.”

Another basic thing that we use, and should be grateful that our neighbors use as well, is a toothbrush.
That little bristle rich tool makes life a lot better for us and our neighbors, but how often do we set it back down in our prepping for the day or the night, and think, “Wow, thank God I have a toothbrush.”

There are countless things that we put on, walk over, drive by, and so on that really are gifts that we so rarely stop to recognize as such.

And all we’ve thought about so far are the small things.

How about nature?

God’s glory is bursting all around us, particularly here in the friendliest town in the South. We are surrounded by picturesque scenery that, regardless of the time of year, always has something special to offer by way of views.

As you drive through, hike over, or simply sit and take it in this week, take a little time to give thanks for the glories of nature all around us.

And nature, while amazing, is still not the greatest thing for which we should be thankful.

We can also be grateful for our friends and family!

These people in our lives that know us often times better than we know ourselves.  Sure, it is often hardest to be patient with the people we love the most.  Nevertheless, take some time today to thank God for the fact that the people around you are in your life.

And finally, the greatest gift of all is the gift of faith.

The fact that we have a God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The fact that our sins can be forgiven, that our lives have a purpose, the fact that we can show, experience and participate in love.

These may seem like pretty basic reflections, and they are.

However, when we take the time to focus on all that goes right rather than wrong everyday, all the good things that are showered upon us, often without us giving them much attention, and all that should cause us to be thankful, these reflections may not remove our impatience or anger entirely, but when things pop up that try our patience, being grateful for the countless gifts in our lives, from smallest to greatest, will certainly help us to keep the negative things in our world in perspective.

Happy Thanksgiving!