From Thanksgiving to Thank-focusing

There is nothing more traditional than giving thanks. And that’s above and outside of the day we’ve designated for it. This year, I’m aiming to discipline myself to be thankful for the truly best things, the things that cannot be taken away, things that are mostly invisible and thoroughly eternal. I am centering my heart and mind in the way of Jesus.

So, here is an attempt to “better” that for which I am grateful, that I might be thankful for the deeper beyond it. Join me if your mind takes you on down this road…

While I’m thankful for…I am focusing my gratitude on…

The laws of the land…The law of liberty.

My US citizenship…My citizenship in a better country.

Constitutional freedoms…The thorough-going freedom of grace.

My heartbeat, the life it ensures…God’s heartbeat, the meaning it beckons.

Relief from pain in all its forms…Pain, for all its forming.

Providential protection…Sovereign adventure.

My bride…My Groom.

The fellowship of the saints…The friendship of the sinner.

The written word…The Living Word.

My pastoral calling in life…The believer priesthood.

Convenient meeting spaces…The building, that we are, being built by God.

Power over temptation…That in sin, grace abounds.

The privilege of preaching…The strength of “each one has a teaching.”

The companionship of God’s family…The loneliness of God’s mission.

The creation and all it provides…The creator, himself, not what he provides.

I could go on, and, actually, I have. I won’t include it all here. Might this stimulate you in your thinking? In your focused thanksgiving? What else? We could let this common holiday come and go again, observing it as we have, in all of the goodness it has been before. What if, on the other hand, we advanced from “count your blessings, name them one by one…” to an examination of those profound gifts of God that are ours in Him?

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