It’s Thanksgiving Again
The month of November has been interesting. On Facebook (the thing next to “The Good Wife,” that I am addicted to) I began noticing that some of my friends were posting similar things: “Today, I am thankful for my in-laws” or “I am thankful for my house” or “health care” or “my husband” or “my kids.” I thought that was kind of odd, really, and then someone finally sent me the memo I clearly missed – this is a 30 Days of Gratitude “event” on Facebook. Then I read the snarky post:
“How about practicing spontaneous genuine gratitude, rather than planned statements?”
Wow – even being thoughtfully thankful has its critics.
Which made me think – why did that particular post stick in my head so clearly? I guess for the same reason that those awful negative political ads burned their way into my brain. For the same reason that when students turn in anonymous evaluations, the only ones that stand out – even if 99% are positive - are from those who say “you’re unfair” with no way to respond or “you blink too much” which you have no control over.
The people who tend to receive all our mental energy are the complainers. And, they can paralyze us – stop us dead in our tracks and derail us from doing what needs to be done. What a shame.
So, back to thanksgiving and practicing being thankful. Here’s the word: Just do it.
Forget the naysayers of this world and embrace what is good, what is right, what Jesus would do.
In honor of Thanksgiving, call three people and thank them:
for their service to the church
for their faithful giving
for just being who they are.
If you are at a loss for words – steal some from Paul and Timothy’s letter to the Phillipians: Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Can you imagine getting that message on your machine after a long hard day? Call three people today, and then three tomorrow, and if you get in the groove, three more the day after that. It’s kind of spontaneous – and I bet even my snarky friend would “Like” it.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.