At Harvest Thanksgiving a popular hymn begins:-
“We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land, but it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand”.
I confess growing up, I took harvest season very much for granted, until spending time in Malawi where I witnessed first hand women gathering grains of wheat off the ground in order to feed their children and others kneeling around a muddy pool taking turns to collect water to drink.
‘Thankfulness’ for the things we have. It’s an attitude of the heart.
This week I read a blog of someone who paid for a girl’s sandwich at the supermarket checkout, as the young person hadn’t enough change. She was hurt
because the recipient walked away without so much as saying ‘thanks’!
Others get upset when they open a door for someone but that thoughtfulness goes unacknowledged, or when you let someone into your traffic lane but get
absolutely no indication of appreciation.
Let me suggest three ways in which we might grow in thankfulness.
1 Count your blessings. I used to visit an elderly person, who when I asked how they were, always replied ‘Thankful’! They took time to bless God for their home, for hot water, for their bins collected and for their tablets regularly delivered from the chemist shop. They were a joy to visit because they counted their blessings.
2. We can grow in gratitude by acknowledging the source of our good gifts. When our son was a wee boy we used to hold his birthday parties at home and since we always said grace before a meal I said “OK, lets give thanks before we eat” and all the lads eagerly turned round to my wife and said “Thank-you Claire”. That wasn’t exactly what we had in mind, but by expressing our appreciation to God, our focus is lifted from feeling either smug for our success or burdened by our responsibility to provide. We grow in gratitude as we acknowledge the source of our good gifts.
3. And thirdly, we can let others know how thankful we are for them. It’s not just food or ‘things’ that we are appreciative for, but people are good gifts as well. Think of someone who has been a faithful friend, a listening ear or a good laugh. Why not phone them, send them an e mail or contact them via social media simply to let them know how grateful you that they are in your life. Don’t leave it until they are dead before saying how much they are appreciated . We can deliberately tell others we are thankful for them, since all good gifts around us are sent from Heaven above.