We clearly live in a land of super-abundance when we need to wish that our Thanksgiving dinners stay off of our thighs. How fortunate we are as Americans that we can set aside this day as a time of appreciation and togetherness!
I love Thanksgiving because it reminds me to give thanks and to count my blessings. When I do so, when I realize how blessed I am, so many of my worries and troubles suddenly become so small. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect upon our present blessings — of which we all have many — and not on our past misfortunes, of which we all have some. “The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us.” James E. Faust
This Thanksgiving season, I am praying for a grateful heart. I believe gratitude is a gift from God. With gratitude, we are able to experience everything around us, and even life itself, as a blessing.
When we have a grateful heart, it liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation. I’ve long observed that a man all wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small bundle; the antidote is to seek and exercise the gift of gratitude.
Johannes A. Gaertner observed: “To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” With gratitude, we are able to love what we have. When we love what we have, we have everything we need. We have enough and to spare.
Gratitude and Thanksgiving fit together. “Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse,” wrote Henry Van Dyke. I pray that we can act on that impulse, not merely for a season, but all year.
May we give thanks on Thanksgiving Day and every day of our lives. May we appreciate and never take for granted all that we have. May we be blessed with a grateful heart.
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