Rev. Kathi's Message
When I give my grandchildren something – a cookie, a new book, a hug – their parents often prompt them with: “say thank you to Grandma.” I love that they are learning their manners and I know that for now, while they are still learning a behaviour, their “thank you’s” are going to be a little robotic - just doing what their parents have told them to do. But someday their gratitude will be more heart-felt, a true expression of their appreciation.
I have wondered recently, if having a holiday dedicated to Thanksgiving is a little like being told to be grateful. Shouldn’t gratitude be more spontaneous, more a heart-felt response to a kindness? Is our thanksgiving genuine or a rote exercise? And really, how many of us will take the time this weekend to think about what we have to be thankful for? Or has this holiday – like other holidays – become another excuse to overindulge with little thought for the meaning at the centre of the celebration?
I sincerely hope not.
I hope that when you have a moment to think about it this weekend, you will have no shortage of reasons to be thankful. I hope that when you share a meal, the faces at the table bring you joy, that the food itself feeds not only your body but your spirit. I hope that wherever you might find yourself – a quiet hiking trail or a crowded grocery store – that you will be aware of the gifts of life given to each of us. I hope that your gratitude is spontaneous and that if you can’t shout it out loud, you can at least whisper it in your heart.
I came across these words about gratitude earlier this week, unfortunately the author wasn’t credited. Maybe they will speak to you this Thanksgiving weekend:
Gratitude is a powerful expression of love and it can perform miracles in your life.
There are countless benefits associated with being grateful. Among these, gratitude has been linked to increased levels of happiness and life satisfaction.
Giving thanks is one of the most powerful ways there is to increase your well-being.