Testing the Depth of Your Gratitude

With the looming presence of Thanksgiving and the 2008 holiday season just one line down on the calendar I have turned my thoughts to gratitude.  In one and one half week I will sit at a dinner table somewhere with someone and they will ask me what I am grateful for and chances are I will give the stock Sunday school answers that people give every year.  “I’m grateful for my family”, “I’m grateful for my health”, “I’m grateful for good friends”,  and the list goes on.

But in this time of economic crisis when so many people can not feed their families, when so many are looking down the calendar road six weeks and weighing the option of financing Christmas or canceling it outright, it may be hard to believe that we can find anything to be grateful for.  Can we?

Bishop T.D. Jakes talks on one of his CDs about the difference between praise and worship.  Today I sit here wondering is there a difference between thanks and gratitude?  Certainly there must be.  A comparison of dictionary definitions would undoubtedly render similar results for both words but how do we use those words.  We talk about giving thanks, we talk about being thankful but we talk about the Power of gratitude, an Attitude of gratitude, Overwhelming gratitude.  Obviously there is a greater depth to the emotion of gratitude versus thanks.

So what is the depth of your gratitude this holiday season?  Reports came out this week that almost 700,000 children went hungry in America at some point in 2007 those number will most definitely rise for 2008 and were already up 50% from 2006.

My six year old twins walk a half mile to school each day.  This is due to the fact that we have two smaller children at home one of which was born premature this summer and is therefore at an increased risk for contracting such things as RSV and pnemonia this winter season.  We, however, live in an area with a number a registered sex offenders and recently two women in our neighborhood were sexually assualted in their homes.  Every day when I come home and my children and wife are safe a tsunamical wave of gratitude surges through me that we’ve made it through another day.

So this thanksgiving when it’s my turn to give thanks chances are I won’t.  Instead I will share my depth of gratitude to my Father in Heaven for the continued physical safety that my family has each day I am away from them and because so far they do not know the extreme hunger that three quarter of a million children and more have known this year.

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~ by Mel's Boy on Wednesday, 19 November 2008.

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