One of my favorite time of each year is the celebration of Thanksgiving and all that it entails. Meeting with family, friends, and relatives…eating the Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings…playing football in the cool weather then coming into a warm house and smelling all of the scrumptious food…watching NFL football games on TV…or simply going around the dinner table and listening to each person share the things that they are thankful for.
Thanksgiving is truly a time to give thanks. We have SO MUCH that we should be thankful for but sometimes, we can forget just how much we have been blessed. The following story, that was conveyed by Cary Schmidt, is a cute little story that (I hope) will serve as a reminder to the many blessings that we have been given.
Two old friends met each other on the street one day. One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”
The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you: three weeks ago, my uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”
“That’s a lot of money.”
“But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand dollars, free and clear.”
“Sounds to me that you’ve been very blessed.”
“You don’t understand!” he interrupted. “Last week my great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million from her.”
Now the man’s friend was really confused. “Then, why do you look so glum?”
“This week . . . nothing!”
That’s a problem with receiving something on a regular basis. Even if it is a gift, we eventually come to expect it. The natural tendency is that if we receive a gift long enough, we come to view it almost as an entitlement. We feel hurt, even angry if we don’t receive it any longer.
It is the same way with the blessings God gives us every day. I don’t deserve the comfortable home that I live in, the beautiful scenery around me, the clean water I drink. But after receiving these gifts (and a multitude of others) for years, I sometimes fail to be grateful. I’ve come to expect these good things. And when one of them is removed for a short time (like water or electricity or the internet going down), I get upset.
Let’s make an effort today to recognize the blessing we’ve come to take for granted. Focus on what we have rather than on what we don’t have, and see if it doesn’t improve our attitudes.