It is a bit backwards to designate one day a year as a day of thanksgiving. After all, gratitude is the state of being we should strive for as much as we possibly can. I jokingly mused that we should instead designate an annual day of discontentment. This would be our yearly reminder of how miserable we are when we choose this route. It would segue nightly to Black Friday where we could stumble about in shame seeking to repair the hurt we caused to ourselves and others.
The lure to unhealthy discontentment is a strong one. Recently I took my perfectly good devotional time which had been working fine and decided I was unhappy. I wanted more and better. In following my heart, I took on too much for the sparse time I have in the morning and began to resent my other morning responsibilities. This prepared me for gloomy breakfasts of resentment and reactiveness.
After coming to my senses, I went back to my policy of “less is more” or at least enjoy what I have. I went back to my shorter Bible readings and prayer but this time with gratitude for what I had as well as gratitude for the other things – cleaning the kitchen, making the coffee, caring for the animals, exercise, and conversation with wife.
Instead of remaining in awe of God’s great deliverance, Israel grumbled, “How shall we eat and drink?” Instead of appreciating the manna, they cried, “Is this all?” When the quail arrived, their ungrateful response was, “Well, it is about time!”
Or going back further, Adam and Even was given every gift of sight, sound, vocation, and meaningful purpose. Yet they were rather quick to be swayed by the serpent’s observation, “But, you can’t have this one.”
Or back even further, Lucifer was given the exalted position of unsurpassed beauty and stewardship yet there was that which he didn’t have that he wanted even more.
Thankfully, we don’t have to go there, do we? Gratitude and thanksgiving is a choice that can be made at any time and likely many times a day. When we get off track, we can immediately realize the error and turn the wagon back on the path.