The Thanksgiving Challenge

Today is Thanksgiving, the day when we gather around the table with family and friends, delve into turkey or ham or whatever meal you choose, and talk. Many meals will begin with a blessing, and some people will even go around the table and give one thing that they’re thankful for.

Years go, I started a tradition during my time with God that on Thanksgiving, I would list 100 things for which I was thankful. “Wow!” you may say. “I have a hard thing thinking of ten things that I’m thankful for! Why on earth would you do such a thing?”

It started several years ago when I was going through a particular rough patch. To put it simply, I was going throwing myself a fine and dandy pity party, and I didn’t want anything to stop me. Occasional pity parties may be okay, but when it becomes prolonged, it can start pulling you into a pit of sadness and despair. Someone suggested that I whenever those moods struck, I should list on paper all of my blessings. That worked. It lifted me out of the pit where I’d fallen.

That got me to thinking. Why not do the same each year on Thanksgiving? And not just a few things but 100! Was I crazy? I certainly thought so. The first year I did it, I sat there with notepad and pen. The first ten or so items were easy. Then I slowed down. I’m not saying it was easy. It wasn’t, but soon, I had not only 100 things for which I was thankful but also a grateful heart. Each year, I’ve done the same, only these days, it’s become part of my prayer journaling.

Here’s my challenge to you. Take a pad and pen, or, if you’re like me, a computer, and make your list. You may start off strong and then falter, but I can guarantee you that you can come up with 100 things for which you’re thankful. Here’s a few to get you started: Be thankful for your life. God has a purpose for you. Maybe you’re thankful that your family is there celebrating with you. Maybe you feel a deep connection to God’s creation. Give thanks for the blue sky, the color of the fall leaves, and the beauty of spring.

So have at it, and have fun. If you do make your list, let me know. Not the details. Just that you come to the table today with an uplifted heart.

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