I’m really good at playing the Thanksgiving game.
“What are you thankful for?”
God, family, friends, health, education…
*10 minutes later*
Making my Christmas list, complaining that the wifi is slow, asking if we seriously ran out of milk.
Wow. We laugh it off by calling them “first world problems” and attempting to justify our lack of thankfulness. But changing how we label it doesn’t change what it is.
I like the idea and thought behind Thanksgiving. I’ve written posts in the past about thankfulness and choosing to have joy which I still completely agree with. But a fault I’ve started recognizing in myself is that I tend to convince myself I’m “being thankful” when in actuality, my heart is far from it.
“In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content. Whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” — Philippians 4:12 (HCSB)
Contentment. Joyful contentment. I think that’s the key. Not just being thankful for what we have, but letting that be enough. Not pining after or basing our happiness on what is next, on what will satisfy our earthly longings for one more day. But rather digging wholeheartedly into our Savior who is more than enough for us.
This world will never be enough.
“All things are wearisome; man is unable to speak. The eye is not satisfied by seeing or the ear filled with hearing.” — Ecclesiastes 1:8 (HCSB)
I like to convince myself that I am being thankful, I can make my list of things I’m thankful for a mile long, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Honestly, it helps my attitude a lot to think about things I am grateful for. But I have let it become a ritual an routine and the true joy and contentment that I am supposed to have in Christ has faded into extinction. I am often “thankful” because I am supposed to be, all the while taking for granted all that I have and all that God has blessed me with.
What kind of message is that sending to God and to this world?
God, You aren’t enough. You sent Your Son to be brutally killed for my sake even though I could never deserve it. You have gifted me with life and loving family and friends around me. BUT that’s not enough. I want more. I think I deserve more. Can’t you just make my life easy?
Wow. I would never verbalize it in that fashion, but is that not what I’m saying? I wouldn’t ever want to be that way. I wouldn’t ever want to be that selfish and shallow. And yet I am and I’m not even noticing it because I am still “being thankful”.
“And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.” — Colossians 3:15 (HCSB)
As long as I keep living with fake gratitude, I will never think anything is enough. I will always feel entitlement and contempt. But God has already provided so much more than enough. His gifts, are more than I could ever need. His faithfulness is everlasting. I want to start living in recognition of that. I want to live in recognition of the fact that I do have enough, and I want to live consciously in awe and amazement of what my Savior did for me. Because that… is so much more than enough. And that’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.