What does it take to be thankful?!


During this thankful time of the year I was thinking about what it takes to be thankful.  As humanoid units we often tend to dwell on what is wrong with our life.  We don’t have enough money…enough love…enough free time…enough fun!  While the simple answer seems to center on what is enough, the real issue lies in where we choose to put our focus.  If it is true that what we focus on we get more of, then focusing on what is wrong can only bring more that is “wrong.”  We live in a world that constantly bombards us with images of things we “need” in our life.  Why can’t I get the gift-wrapped Lexus for Christmas?  Or, I should be able to give my wife the 5 karat diamond ring and I’m not really a success in life because I can’t afford it.  The consistent message is that you are not enough; you do not have enough; you are not successful enough!  We watch reality shows that are so far removed from reality that it’s not even funny!  We are fascinated with watching wealthy people who have such terrible problems like which vendor should cater my holiday party or where will we do my daughter’s sweet sixteen event? Is that really all that life is about?  Is it true that whoever dies with the most toys wins?   I think not!  Life is so much more than that.  Supposedly, Jim Carrey said, “he wished that everyone could be rich and famous so they could see that wasn’t the answer!”  But, I don’t think we really needed him to say that, did we?  Sure having enough shekels matters.  Having “enough” money is a legitimate need in this life.  For that matter, so is having lots of love, lots of fun and doing your best to achieve success!  We have a variety of needs that make our lives the best and not having our needs met certainly hinders our “thankfulness” factor.  So, we are left with the question, “how can we get our needs met and live abundantly?”  First, we have to accurately define what really is our need?  Thankfully the good Lord has left that decision up to us.  Saying that if we have bread and water our need has been supplied isn’t true, unless of course you happen to be in prison. (smile)  Need is defined as those things you need to live abundantly.  If my monthly expenses are $5,000 and I make $4,000 I probably need more money.  Now some would say that you just needed to reduce your expenses, but where does that end?  Eventually we are going to get back to bread and water, aren’t we?  The truth is that our bountiful God wants to supply your every need and He has no limits on what He can do!  Would you imagine it would be any harder for God to supply you with a good car than let’s say, a sandwich?  (smile)  Is it more difficult for him to heal cancer than a common cold?  The reality is that God can do anything and the only limiting factor is what we think and what we choose to dwell upon! 

So, what are we choosing to dwell upon?  Have we allowed the world to define our happiness and what we really need to be happy?  Only by dwelling on the things we want and not dwelling on the things we don’t want, can we ever hope to realize our dreams.  This is exactly why God exhorts us to be, “thankful!”  By deciding to be thankful for the things you do have and remaining there, allows God (who just won’t violate your free-will, despite your heartfelt petitions for Him to do so) to give you more things to be thankful for.  You will notice that often God tells us the attitude to have when we pray for things…

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Now while you have got that attitude right (and lost that grumpy, frustrated one) you see yourself having those things you need.  You see yourself as someone who “has” and not as someone who “has not!” Take the time to picture yourself living the way you want to live.  Have you ever paid attention to how you see yourself?  Others?  Do you have a clear picture of the bountiful you and not the deprived you?  Do you see yourself winning (duhh) or do you see yourself getting beaten again and again?  How do you see your interactions with other people?  Do you picture the disagreement and bad feelings before you ever get around that person?  Are you then somehow surprised when you get around that person and it goes exactly how you imagined it would? So much of how we live our lives centers around our thoughts, so it only makes sense to learn a new way to think!  Get those images of defeat out of your mind.  Take yourself to task and decide, adamantly decide to hold in mind only the things you do want in your life.  See yourself prospering and healthy.  Picture yourself giving out of your abundance.  It may take some time, but no endeavor in your life will produce a more valuable result.  You will be having such a good time living you won’t know yourself.  And along that “way” you will find that wonderful, loving God Who thought this whole thing up! 

So as we approach, “Thanksgiving” remember all the good things you have in this life.  Remember the people you love most and that love you the most.  Remember the good times, the good results, the joy!  And as that thankful holiday slips into the past, keep on being thankful and choose to “live the life you have imagined!”

Wishing you the best of the best from the Best!

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