It's a daunting question, and one that's especially timely to think about now, as we enter the holiday season. The two words I hear way too much every year in November - December (and yes, it's already started) are "I want." People are very vocal about their desires, especially at this time of year. And it's ironic, because Thanksgiving is a holiday that's supposed to be about showing thanks for our blessings, and Christmas is supposed to be about giving thanks for our salvation. Supposed being the actual verb in those phrases, because if every conversation starts with "I want" or "I wish," then the focus isn't on being grateful for what you have. It's everywhere but where it's supposed to be. Our scramble to create "the perfect holiday" puts our focus on performance and off of prayer, meditation, and being grateful for the life we live every day.
Yes, I will agree that this is a season of celebration, and we're certainly entitled to enjoying it. But isn't it a mistake to limit that to a time of year, or conditions being met, or of getting what we want? Shouldn't we celebrate our blessings every day? The Bible says not to despise the day of small things, but I'll bet that when the end of it all rolls around, we'll discover that's where the true magic and joy of our lives were at. Yes, the big things matter greatly, but there's just as much joy in the small stuff. Some of my happiest memories are days spent at home with Rick and the birds, or lunch out with family and friends, conversations with co-workers on a slow afternoon, lunches out and dinners in, reading a book, or watching a movie or TV show I enjoy. If I limited my joy to big events and book releases, then I'd be binding myself indeed, and I don't want to do that. I want to enjoy life everyday, not just during certain times and seasons.
I often hear people say they wish Christmas lasted all year, but perhaps it's Thanksgiving that should be a year-round, everyday event. And perhaps this Thanksgiving week is a great time to shift our paradigm and give some thought not to the "I want" list, but to the "thank God I have ..." list. Try it. You might find it's longer than you imagined.
That's all today. I hope you have an excellent week.