The Thanksgiving holiday is behind us…and it brought back a lot of childhood memories. When I was growing up in a small town in NC, we had about 3 acres of land and at least 1 acre was dedicated to a garden. That garden provided more than enough vegetables to last our family through the winter. I really hated the front end (plowing, planting, weeding, and canning)…but I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the food when it came time to eat from the harvest.
Gratitude has a very similar process to that garden. Gratitude is a lot of hard work. But, it has to be cultivated. Here are a couple of thoughts about how to produce a good harvest when it comes to gratitude. Warning: Each of these requires as much work as that garden!
- Good relationships foster gratitude. There is much effort involved to keep “short accounts“. If we allow relationships to decay…if we fail to clear the air when misunderstandings occur…then it seems to affect our ability to be grateful for others.
- Remember my blessings. Holidays always provide an opportunity to remember how kind God has been to me over the years. It is easy to slip into thinking that I somehow worked hard enough to accomplish my current situation on my own effort. A good friend reminded me yesterday that I’m just not that smart.
- Serve Others. Nothing adjusts my gratitude faster and better than stopping to help another human being in need. There is something supernatural about serving others that keeps me grateful for what I have.
- Focus on Eternity. No matter how difficult today is…it will pass. In a very short time in the future, my time here will be over. That is where I will find my just reward. And that is a free gift. I did not earn it.
Thanks for listening.