Everyone was ready with pencil and paper or computer. We all had to write a list of things for which we were thankful, as fast as we could, for 60 seconds.
The timekeeper warned us, “On your mark, get set, go!” Ten of us took off, pushing our pens (and keys) as fast as we could. Another warning, “30-seconds!” Then there was the countdown: “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, stop!” Whew! Everyone was smiling, a couple were laughing.
We went around the room sharing. There were thanks for wives, husbands and children. Lists included food, clothing, shelter and jobs. My favorites were socks and not getting mad at 13-year-old daughter for piercing her ears. I especially liked the thanks for feeling better after counting blessings.
Only 15 minutes lapsed since we started our meeting, and everyone’s spirits were lifted, attitudes were filled with gratitude. Somebody said, “I did not realize how much I have to be grateful for.”
Another challenge was issued
“We often celebrate thanksgiving, but we do not actually give thanks. Take 30 seconds and write as many names as fast as possible of people for whom you are thankful. Be sure to include people from work, past and present.” Pens and keys started flying again.
Finally came one last instruction. “Tell everybody on your list some version of…”I thank my God upon every remembrance of you… Philippians 1:3
We could text, call, email or send a web e-card. Perhaps go postal and send an actual pen on paper note or card. Maybe show and tell people in person.
One amongst us suggested we could give thanks every day. The Apostle Paul agrees:In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Seven Days of Thanks Giving
As Thanksgiving week begins, start everyday by giving thanks to someone for something. Here are some suggestions:
Monday – Mail Thanksgiving notes to everyone for whom you are thankful, including people at work, past and present.
Tuesday – Think of close family, friends, neighbors, schoolmates and workmates. Consider how you love them. Count the ways. Send a small gift. Do a small favor. Share a kind word.
Wednesday – Pray and prepare for Thanksgiving Day. If you have no plans, invite someone over for lunch or dinner. Share thanks with one another.
Thursday – Perhaps just before Thanksgiving dinner, share with others Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation of 1863, which passed as an act of Congress and established Thanksgiving Day as a U.S. holiday:
“I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States …to set apart and observe a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens … announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord … It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.”
Friday – No doubt many of us will shop until we drop on Black Friday. With every swipe of your card, mentally sky-gram our Father who art in heaven: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Saturday – Say “thanks” by giving back. It’s a great way to show your thanksgiving by giving yourself to others and their needs. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Sunday – Jesus gave thanks for His job to die and rise again paying the penalty for our sins. “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.’” (Matthew 26:27-28)
Amen and thank You God!