“Count your blessings, name them one by one,” sings the old hymn. One day of the year is set aside for this purpose. Yet, if I were to try and count my blessings it would be like trying to count the stars. It would take days, weeks, months, years to name them all. The blessings overflow, spill out, pile up, and without my noticing, they keep coming forever and ever. As we sit down to the feast of our life, most all of our tables are full. Most of us dine on never-ending blessings. We belly up, unbutton that top button and go in for more. We can never be satiated by the gifts lavished upon us. And that’s ok! But…

Pause now, take time to push away from the table and really see what is in front of you. Marvel in wonder at the goodness of the bounty at the table. Witness the people around it and the added blessings those relationships bring to the feast. Name each grace and favor washing over you, count them one by one. Thanksgiving, thankfulness, is being thankful for the feast while the table is full. Gratitude is being thankful even when the table is empty. Gratitude turns never enough into contentedness. Gratitude turns plenty into generosity. Gratitude says since I have more than enough, therefore I can give what I have away. And gratitude knows, if the table becomes empty, it can find thankfulness still residing within the heart. True gratitude isn’t dependent on anything external, it is a posture of the heart, an attitude from within. Gratitude is a heart condition.

In recent history, giving thanks and consuming more have become conjoined twins. “More” has crept in, overlapped, interwoven, infused and contaminated the giving thanks. Gratitude’s seat at the table has been crowded out by Gluttony the uninvited guest when there is such bounty. Can gratitude be brought back to the place of honor? Can it be the filter, the foundation, the intention and the motivation?

I offer this challenge: Set an intention of gratitude this holiday season. Wonder, marvel, be astonished by all that already is. And from that perspective, can you seek one practical application? One objective that turns your feast into an axis of generosity–all of your being spinning from this center. As you wonder through the season, can you notice each dollar spent and steward your resources from this intention? Give good gifts, ones that communicate your love and carry meaning. Spend time as well as money on people, products and causes which create life, spark inspiration, and do the most good in the community near and far. Gratitude is a heart condition. Generosity, abundance, contentedness, Enough are the symptoms. May you walk and move and breathe and have your being counting your blessings, living with a grateful heart condition. May true Thanksgiving find its place back at the table, today, tomorrow, throughout the holiday season, into the New Year and forever.

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