Happy "Giving Thanks" Day

Tomorrow morning is Thanksgiving. Most of us have at one time or another, been sitting at the Thanksgiving table and been asked, "Share one thing you are thankful for." Around the table we hear people say things like, "family, "my job", "this meal" in a way that makes you think, "Everyone just wants to get through this so that we can eat."

So while this exercise can seem dismissive and disingenuous, here are five reasons why "giving thanks" is such an important spiritual practice that should get our full attention.

1) Giving thanks re-introduces God into the picture. The truth be told, none of us are self made people. Much of who we are and what we have is not something we can claim to have achieved on our own. Giving thanks can be a moment of humility where we recognize God's generosity to us.

2) Giving thanks is an exercise in perspective taking. It gets your eyes off you own problems, if only for a moment, and on to the blessings, gifts, and kindnesses given or shown to you.

3) Giving thanks is a away of seeing other people. We live so indifferently to each other. Noticing what people do for us and thanking them, is a way of seeing them.

4) Giving thanks helps us to not take things for granted. All of us are guilty of taking very precious things for granted - things like our eyesight, the ability to walk, the ability to speak, the freedom  to worship, the freedom to speak, the roof over our heads, the food on our table. Slowing down and naming these things is to bring what we take for granted and put it back in the "giving thanks" bucket.

5) Giving thanks is a way to feel loved.  If we have things to "thank" others for, be it God or family or friends or church, we can thus see, we are loved. (And who doesn't need to feel that more.)

Happy Giving Thanks Day.


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