Does this Thanksgiving feel different to you? Maybe it is my heightened sense of impending events, but this year, I am not focused on turkey, dressing or football games. I am truly looking forward to serious contemplation of all my blessings; the relationships, memories and experiences for which I am thankful.
I just want to be aware of all my senses. I want to see and take notice of everything -- my humble possessions that make me rich in the eyes of the world; the smiles of my loved ones; the way the wildlife and landscape responds to the colder weather; the dancing flames in my wood-burning stove.
I want to stop and listen to the sounds that provide comfort -- the soft winter rain on my tin roof; the sound of our rooster welcoming the morning sun; the laughter of my husband as he forgets the state of the world and enjoys a moment free of stress. And I want to close my eyes and take in the smells that bring so much joy -- my vanilla-orange candles; cinnamon rolls baking in the oven; the scent of my husband's cologne that takes me back to our first dates; and I am looking forward to that sweet baby smell when we meet our great-niece for the first time next month.
Thanksgiving is always about taste, right? Whether it is the tart cranberry sauce; the butter, marshmallows and cinnamon that coat the sweet potatoes; the smooth, velvety quality of a fine red wine; or the heaven that is my sister's home-made fudge -- it is all good! But I think this year, I'm most looking forward to the sense of touch and the closeness with people -- the caress and embrace of my husband; the squeeze and kiss from my mother and father-in-law; cuddling up on the couch with my sister-in-law and niece as we watch chick flicks; and the rush that comes from seeing old friends and connecting with heart-felt hugs.
Because what is the alternative to being thankful? Thanklessness only leads to pride and dependence on self. An unthankful heart results in a bitter, complaining, joyless individual. It puts all your focus on self and denies you the wonder and awe of your Creator. Who wants to trade the pleasure and delight of God's blessings for the depression and hopelessness of a life without Him?
So today, stop and take just five minutes out of this holiday and pay attention to all the subtle blessings that our Lord has provided. Give Him pure and genuine thanks for all the things and people you love. Your simple expression of gratitude will be a pleasing gift unto the Lord.
Psalm 136:26 "Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever."