This Thanksgiving, I can’t help but reflect on one of my favorite home videos – in which my son is jumping on the trampoline with his baby sister. The dialogue goes as follows:
Sawyer: “Mommy, tank you for getting me a baby.”
Caroline: “Where do you think we got her?”
Sawyer (without a moment’s hesitation): “At the gwocery staw.”
Besides being insanely cute, there’s a few nuggets about the nature of thanksgiving buried in the exchange:
1. Thanksgiving is Contagious
Sawyer may not have had all his facts straight, but man was his heart full of pure, undiluted gratitude – and it was contagious. His grin-filled words radiated like a beaming beacon of light that was just begging to be shared. I couldn’t help but smile myself and give thanks to God for blessing us with the gift of these children. My wife does a fantastic job of this, too. Whenever I want to grumble in self-pity, her thankful heart reminds me of everything I have and should be grateful for.
2. Thanksgiving is Life Giving
As a father, any time one of my little girls bats those eyelashes and says, “Tank you, Daddy!” – all my worries, concerns, and thousand-things-to-do melt away for that temporary second when my heart turns to mush. I find myself refueled and motivated to give my best efforts towards this thing called parenting. The effect isn’t just confined to the home though – a little bit of gracious recognition goes a long way in the workplace, too (the motivation bit, not the heart melting part). It’s easier to work hard when you’ve been tossed a life giving thank-you or two.
3. Thanksgiving is Spiritual
There is something about a thankful heart that draws us closer to God. It represents a state of humility, a recognition of who is in control, and a shedding of the manipulating control of the things of this world. It is the basis of praise and worship:
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4 NLT)
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV)
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you all eat lots of turkey and have much to be thankful for!
– Nicolas C. Day