As I was driving down the road yesterday, I passed by a sign out in front of a church that read, “Are you thankful or just full?” It was a simple play on words, but they stayed on my mind for the rest of the day.
Last Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving; where we were supposed to pause and give thanks for the abundance that most of us have, but before the table could be cleaned up and the leftovers put away, the Black Friday frenzy began, leaving in its wake some horrible stories of humanity acting badly.
Many of the stores actually opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day and I’m told there were lines out to the street.
Now, I’ve never expected Corporate America to have much of a conscience, but as a society, I think we are robbing our souls when we aren’t willing to take a day to pause and be thankful for what we have instead of rushing right into what we want.
I recently read a quote from Cicero. He said, “Not only is gratitude the greatest of virtues, but it’s the parent of all others.”
I find this statement to be unbelievably profound.
Gratitude is a choice and when we choose it, we refuse to be bound by what we don’t have. We refuse to be controlled by what we want. We refuse to be held captive by constant comparison to other people.
When we choose gratitude, we are actively thanking God for what He has given us and acknowledging His plan over our own. We are acknowledging His goodness and sovereignty even when we don’t understand.
Because no matter how dark our days may be, there’s always something to be thankful for and that insight can change everything.
The Bible tells us, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It seems to me as we get ready to head back to work and start our diets attempting to lose all of the weight we put on at Thanksgiving, that it would be a good time to ask ourselves if we are thankful or just full, because the answer to that question has a huge impact on how we celebrate Advent.
Advent calls us to make our hearts ready for the coming of Jesus. Surely those hearts should be joyful and thankful. If not, perhaps we should make some changes.
A sign reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.
Have an awesome day!