Ah, today is Thanksgiving. The one day where we all convene with our family and friends and celebrate each other. The one day where diets are generally thrown to the sidelines, and we enjoy copious amounts of comfort food loaded with calories and sugars. Thanksgiving certainly is, every year, a time of reflection, happiness and getting a bit bigger around the waistline. Sometimes though, Thanksgiving can be difficult. For some of us, people still try to rattle our chains—whether on purpose or accident—and things might not go as smoothly as we would have hoped.
So today, in light of whatever your circumstances are, let’s not focus on ourselves. I’m not here to write about entirely about motivation today.
Today, let’s focus on each other and what we can really be thankful for.
As we sit down for our dinners with our friends and family, there are plenty of things that warrant thanksgiving. Although 2016 certainly has been an eventful and tumultuous year for many of us, myself included, there are bonds that connect us all. There are bonds that we can all see the bright side in yet we might often overlook, and as today is a day to highlight those, we most definitely should.
Let’s give thanks to the following:
The relationships we have made throughout our lifetimes
If we sit down and really think about it, relationships are such a wonderful part of living. They consistently do more than we ask for, and often times when we least expect it. The love that is shared between ourselves and others not only helps us feel secure and valued, but it also raises the standards for which we approach the men and women that we don’t know. Relationships help us raise and define our standards in what is good in the world. It is because of relationships that we dig out of the mire of isolation.
And it is because of relationships that we feel the encouragement to hold on to our values and believe in a reason for fighting for them.
The world we live in and how we live it
Admittedly, it is hard sometimes to see the world as bright and beautiful place. There are always threats of violence, people are always arguing, and as long as power exists, there is always some sort of conflict of interest on a variety of scales to be had. Yet happening concurrently with all the negativity is a well of positivity that no one really talks about. Look, we live in an age where we can reach out and meet people with just our fingers and a monitor. We can engage in discourse and empathize about the real lives of real people form half a world away. We can celebrate the differences that make each and every one of us beautiful, and see those differences, now more than ever!
Understand that many of the conventions that allow us to do these amazing feats of communication and sharing weren’t possible as recently as 1990 (when the World Wide Web actually became a networking and relational tool). We have been blessed with not only communication, but so many opportunities outside of that. Think about it.
You can pursue literally any avenue you want in life, no matter how obscure. You can create things with your imagination that were neigh impossible twenty, even thirty or more years ago. You can express yourself however you please, whenever you please, using your own individuality in a myriad of ways. You can choose to love or hate as you please, yet still find solace in others who share your ideals anywhere in the world.
Pretty amazing the world we live in, if you ask me.
Our talents and gifts
We have all been given amazing and powerful gifts and talents from God. So much so in fact, that we often times don’t know what to do with them. And we should be thankful for that! Each talent that you possess—that you have been gifted—makes you who you are, and invariably separates you from the pack. There are things that only you can achieve, in ways only you can do them, that truly give credence to the statement, “No one else can be me.” And what’s more, each of those talents are free for you to use or not!
The fact that we are each, as our own person, given opportunities and paths unique to ourselves by itself is extraordinary. The fact that we have our own particular tools of the trade, so to speak, to utilize and that allow us to be seen as special and original is even more so. And do you want to know the best part?
You can change LIVES with your gifts. Now that is something to be thankful for.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” –James 1:17 (ESV)
Last but not least we should certainly be thankful to and of God! Had it not been for Him, we wouldn’t have the life we live. We wouldn’t have the world we live in, and as the verse from James states above, we wouldn’t have our good gifts that allows us to chase perfection for Him. God gave us so many blessings, so many things to be thankful for, and they were all given to us with intent and reason.
The awesome, amazing and often overlooked parts in our lives weren’t given on a whim, or a “maybe”. They weren’t given because we might screw up. They were given because we were meant for them.
Let’s be thankful for opportunities. Let’s be thankful for the little things we take for granted.
Let’s be thankful not because a day tells us to. But because we want to be.
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach