“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.”
~Colossians 4:2 (NRSV)
There are countless reasons to be thankful in life, but we, by instinct, forget.
What do we already have that we can be more thankful for, and therefore enjoy?
1. We are alive. Our parents, by the miracle of God, conceived us. And no matter what relationship we have with our parents, we are alive.
2. For those of us who know God, we know God. Think for a moment about the obvious blessings underlying such a fact. By prayer we can count our blessings.
3. We have potential in all sorts of areas in life—this fact feeds our hope. Our hope establishes our vision, and by faith we get there. Given this, why do we not live more faithfully?
4. There are the material possessions we own or have possession of. This is no petty detail. Everything we have received, we have received from God; no less are these things we can put our hands on.
5. Besides our knowledge of God, we have our overall knowledge and what we can know of things. Without God there would be no knowledge, and, though knowledge is often painful, knowledge is a great blessing.
6. Then comes our experience. Although there is much to lament about life, all of our experiences have a commonality about them representing the mystery of life. And it can be marvellous just what we can remember.
7. Our skills shouldn’t miss recognition. Even if we are given to thinking we have few skills, we actually have hundreds of them. How marvellous that our minds and bodies can work in such elastic unison.
8. The notion of family is a thing to be thankful for, for the vast majority of us. And if we have no blessed family of family origin we can have a blessed family elsewhere, for instance, the church. The fortunate have both. Just how often do we really appreciate our families?
9. Most of us have a vocation—a purpose, whether we love it or not. The fact is we have this. And if we don’t have such a possession we have permission to hope. No one and nothing tells us we cannot hope.
10. On such an endless list, what rounds it out? We look around and what can we see; that which we already have? There is so much, realistically. It’s time to fill in the blanks...
Thankfulness for what we already have is the urgency of gratitude that compels us toward joy. And such a joy will feed our hope, and faith to live life is then ours in abundance.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.