And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Colossians 3:17
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
This is the third of three consecutive reflections on positive thinking. With only two days to go in 2020 (thankfully, right?), many of us are thinking ahead to resolutions for the New Year, 2021. Many of us will set goals in diet and exercise, perhaps there will be resolutions for marriages and in families, with children, with jobs. Hopefully we are setting goals in our spiritual life as well—to pray more, to read the Bible, to attend church faithfully, to participate in Holy Communion, or go to confession.
On your list of resolutions should be a goal to be thankful every day. We should make it a goal to be thankful every day. Because if there is no goal, then our resolution is just a thought, it goes nowhere. So, make it a goal, not just a thought, to be thankful.
We also know that goals without plans are fantasies, they never happen. So, along with a goal to be thankful, make a plan that makes that goal possible. May I suggest starting each day with prayer, and starting each prayer (hopefully there are several each day) with a word of thanks to God, even for the privilege of praying, or living to see another day. There is ALWAYS something to thank God for.
Next, make sure you thank the people that are closest to you in your life—sometimes we forget to say thank you to the spouse who cooks every day, or to the children who take out the garbage, or to the spouse who goes to work every day whether they feel like it or not. We forget to thank our children for trying hard in school—we tend to remember only when they are not trying hard. We forget to thank them for making us proud parents. So, make it a point to say thank you to your family for something each day.
We all interact with “service” people nearly every day—most often it is the person taking our money at a store or gas station. Do we remember to thank these people? Some may argue—why should we thank them for doing what they get paid to do? I would argue that without these “service” people, we wouldn’t have stores or gas stations or any of the other “services” that we need. A “thank you for your help” or “thank you for what you do” goes a long way. When is the last time you said to that to the person who delivers your mail, or who picks up your garbage? I wonder how often these people hear thank you’ s from those they serve.
Make saying thank you a priority for 2021. In fact, make it a priority to thank as many people as you can each day.   The more you say “thank you”, the more thankful you will feel. And when one is thankful, one becomes humble, because his or she realizes that we cannot do much without people around us who help us. When one is humble, one is more able to love others, and accept love from others. When one is able to accept love from others and to love others, one is able to better love God and feel loved by God. And when one is able to feel more loving towards God and feel that he or she is loved by God, then life has more purpose, meaning and focus. Again, the key to so much of life is the grateful heart. So make thanksgiving one of your resolutions for 2021.
Lord, thank You for the blessings I have enjoyed this year (list some things in your prayer that have gone well for you in 2020). Thank You for all those who are close to me in my life (list the names of your family and close friends). Help me to enter into the new year with a grateful heart. May I find ways to not only express my thanks but to demonstrate to You how thankful I am for all the blessings in my life. Amen.
Make saying thank you a daily priority in 2021!