Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Categories of Thankfulness

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. There are a few different categories or even levels of giving thanks that I've been pondering as we head into this holiday tomorrow.
  1. Thankful for the things we have. This is the traditional question that we ask and answer around our Thanksgiving meal each year, "what are you thankful for?" And there are many, many things to list. From our family members to our ipods we have more than we could ever know what to do with. I'm sure every person reading these words could come up with a hearty list.
  2. Thankful for things unseen. This category is a little harder to capture because it's less concrete. Things such as the mutual trust that is exchanged like a commodity within a friendship, the forgiveness that has been extended in a relationship on the mend, the compassion that is felt for someone who is hurting, the compelling love of an active God. These things may not be as close to the tip of our tongues around the Thanksgiving table, but they are deeper and richer and more soul-expanding than the items in the first category.
  3. Thankful for our difficulties. It takes a broad perspective to get our hearts around this one. But it is one of the evidences of a spiritually healthy person. Someone who can give thanks even through difficult times knowing that on the other side of the trouble - they will have grown and learned and been formed into something that couldn't have been without that experience... and God will still have been faithful.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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