Fr. Howard M, Humphrey Jr
Saying Thank You Changes Your Life
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:16-17
How we feel about living changes with the perspective we cultivate in our daily living. If our focus is on what we want or on what we lack, it is easy to become depressed or disappointed with living. So much of the conflict in our culture comes from this self-centered focus to living. This all changes, when we intentionally cultivate the attitude of thanksgiving!
First, the attitude of thanksgiving to God shifts our perspective on life from being centered on us and our wants to the wonderful blessing of our heavenly Father, who wants to give more than we either desire or deserve. When our focus for living changes to God's plan for us, it opens us to receive from God's care for us, especially in the tough times of life, when we are in the midst of suffering and disappointment.
Second, the attitude of thanksgiving opens us to God's gift of joy, because we begin to see ourselves and those around us through different eyes. We begin to have a new feeling of gratitude for God's many gifts and blessings. This leads us from being dominated by the divisions in our culture, because we are not anchoring our living in them, but in our heavenly Father's provision. Our heavenly Father's love for us becomes the foundation of our lives, not the changing things of this world!
Finally, the attitude of thanksgiving to God creates in us a true sense of hope. When focused on the world, we become anxious and fearful, because we might not be able to make it. We become divided within ourselves and with others, because we might not get what we want. The opposite of this is when we look at the many things, which come to us from our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, we find that our heavenly Father's sustaining providence will lead us through. We discover hope in our heavenly Father's provision that does not fade.
So join with me and cultivate the attitude of offering thanksgiving to our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Begin thanking God each day for the things, which we so often take for granted: like the air we breathe; the day we have been given; the food we eat; the roof over our heads; the people in our lives; and the many opportunities that come to us. Each activity we undertake in our daily living, offer our Lord thanksgiving for it and ask him to bless us as we work. Especially, offer our heavenly Father thanksgiving for the sending of his Son Jesus Christ, who died and rose that we might become adopted children of God, sharing in the very life of God! May you discover that the simple act of saying thank you to God throughout our day changes the way we live!
Be sure to offer our heavenly Father thanksgiving this week and every week for the great nation in which we are privileged to live. May God richly bless it always!