Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tis the Season

Thankfulness is seasonal? Well, yes, actually. At least in my life.

The thankfulness season starts around Halloween/Reformation Day, and runs until January 1st. It encompasses "the holidays," as people call them these days--the holiday season.

Thanksgiving makes me thankful. My birthday, and my oldest son's birthday fall during this time. Christmas makes me thankful; my wife's birthday falls during that time as well.

The problem with all of this is something rather simple: a believer's life should be marked by thankfulness all the time. There is no season for thankfulness, any more than there is for joy, peace, patience, etc. Those are the fruit, and they should always be in season in our lives.

So how do we cultivate this? Well, I think a good first step is just thinking about it.

In Philippians, it talks about thinking on things that are true, pure, holy, and so on. I would add to that list things to be thankful about. Dwell on those things, and they will become a part of life.

So my challenge to you (and to me) is to make this season the start of a lifestyle of thankfulness. Thankfulness is something that's always in season.


Anonymous said...

Great thoughts!

I think this is somethingn we need to model with our kids when they are young. I wish I had been better at it when my kids were small, because as they become teenagers, their tendency can be to be very ungrateful. Being thankful is a habit they can cultivate early in life.

Nathan said...

I also believe a big impetus to thankfulness--paradoxically according to the world's wisdom--is generosity with one's earthly resources. Our nature is to demand the physical blessings we believe we deserve. Hard to be grateful when you don't feel as if you have everything you're supposed to have.

We won't be thankful people until our hearts urge us to hasten our steps to Beulah Land. Our expectations then will be so fixed on eternity that we'll feel a little surprised--albeit pleasantly--when God blesses us with temporal comforts and luxuries. That's where thankfulness begins: with a heart that expects nothing, and so rejoices when it receives the unexpected.

Patrick Chan said...

I hope this doesn't sound too cute or anything, but honestly I'm thankful I e-met Matt Gumm on the blogosphere (along with other fine, godly Christians). :-)