Giving thanks nurtures a heart of gratitude

Published 7:17 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2023

An Editorial Opinion of The Greenville Advocate

There is a phrase, adapted from Ecclesiastes 1:9 that instructs the hearer, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The well-known mantra is preceded by these words, “What has been what will be, and what has been done is what will be done.” To many, it may seem as if this has never been more accurate than it is today, but how could King Solomon have realized when he penned the admonition, just how many generations would we see bell bottoms come and go in the halls of fashion, or olive green and mustard yellow become the latest decorating trend only to fade into just another passing fad.

While it may be that every up-and-coming generation strives to develop the “latest and greatest” new idea and yet fails to create anything bolder and more daring than their predecessors did, there is one behavior which can never gain popularity often enough – a spirit of thanksgiving.

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A popular book by Ann Voskamp is titled, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are,” invites the reader to develop a pattern of gratitude by listing the things, both great and small, for which they are grateful. Over the course of time, participants in the activity will have listed 1,000 blessings they are thankful for and by doing so, will have developed a lifestyle of gratitude and joy.

Those who successfully complete the challenge find that by developing a heart of gratitude and practicing thanksgiving, they will continue to realize life’s beauty everywhere and see “what has been done” being done continually as they embrace life fully, just as it is, rather than always waiting for the next best thing to happen.

At Thanksgiving, people often take a moment to consider their blessings and to recount what they are thankful for. Consider how much more lovely life would be if we continue the pattern of gratitude into and throughout the new year.

Might we find ourselves full and overflowing with thankfulness, ready to dispense it generously to others along the way? Perhaps the repetitive nature of life on Earth is good for us. May we take the time, now at Thanksgiving time and in the days that follow, to take life’s blessings into account and develop a habit of gratitude.