I love Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why — I’m not a foodie, and we don’t do big family — maybe it’s the calm before the storm. The calm before Christmas is what I’m talking about.
One of the things that Thanksgiving does for us is it allows us to press the reset button, kind of like getting a front end alignment on our cars, we get adjusted and refocused on what's important (all of this before we get crazy again on Black Friday right?!), it serves as the catalyst for an attitude of gratitude that I always hope extends into the New Year. Praise the Lord for Thanksgiving Day!
To really allow God to use this holiday in our lives, we have to be intentional — in other words, Thanksgiving won't have its full impact on your life if you don't get serious and invest. Bob Goff would say we need to get some skin in the game.
Friday morning, I woke up and saw on Twitter that TED Talks offered a few suggestions that I thought were extremely helpful towards this goal of Thanksgiving.
1. Take a photo of something you are thankful for every day. I would suggest not only snapping a picture but then post it on your social media. I did this for the four days leading up to Thanksgiving, and my first picture was my favorite coffee mug with my favorite coffee (I am so thankful for my home brewed Cafe Du Monde). My second picture was of a random card my good friend and mentor Eldon Hawksworth from California sent me this past week. Everyone should have an Eldon Hawksworth in their life.
2. Gratitude doesn't always come naturally, so be intentional about thanking people. In your transactions with cashiers and other people take the time to look them in the eye and thank them for their service. So often, we are self-focused — this Thanksgiving season, be more aware of the people around you and their needs. Just like mom taught us, re-learn to say, "Please and Thank you.”
3. Practice the Golden Rule with gratitude. In other words, be honest about the thanks you'd like to hear from other people. If you would like to hear thank you from others for things you do, then tell others thank you for what they do.
4. This last one is a little creepy, but write a eulogy for someone you love while they are still alive. I think we can appreciate this idea that we tell people how awesome they are now and not later. I might suggest sending a card with your thoughts about how great you think these people are and how grateful you are for them and their presence in your life.
There you go: be thankful, be ready to express your thankful heart to others. Now, go get 'em!
Happy Thanksgiving! He told me to tell you that.