November 25     

Today's quotation:

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.

W.T. Purkiser

Today's Meditation:

We call it "paying lip service," that tendency to say that we think one way, but then to act in another way.  It's so easy to do this with the blessings we have in life-- it's very simple to say how much we appreciate them, but then to ignore them or misuse them or even abuse them.  That person for whom we're grateful because of the help that she or he gives us-- do we take advantage of that help by expecting too much of that person?  Or do we let that person slip to the side when things are going better for us?

How do we use the blessing of our income?  Do we use any of it to try to help others, or to try to make the world a better place?  Or do we simply try to turn it into more money, or convert it into material goods by spending it?  What about the food that we have to eat each day?  Do we eat just enough for our share, or do we eat more than we need to live?  Do we throw any of it away?  I can say that I appreciate my blessings, but if I don't treat them with respect, then my words are empty, my "appreciation" hollow.

Our blessings are deserving of our undivided gratitude.  After all, blessings are things that make our lives better, whether we've worked to earn those things or not.  A blessing can help us to live more comfortably, more peacefully, more in balance, more aware.  Blessings come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and it's impossible to count them all-- but it is possible to ignore them, to act as if they don't exist at all.  How often do we tell other people just what's going wrong in our lives-- all the while ignoring all those things that are going right?

I hope that I'm always able to be aware of the blessings in my life and to feel gratitude for them-- and to be sure to take advantage of them and not ignore them.  I want my blessings to be foremost in my mind, even when frustration and aggravation and fear are fighting to take over their spot.  My blessings are a very real part of who I am, and it's up to me to use them in all the ways that I possibly can-- for blessings have a way of spreading to others, even if they take a different form with them.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of blessings are present in your life right now?

Why is it so easy to focus on negative things rather than our blessings?

How do you use your blessings to help others?

For further thought:

The private and personal blessings we enjoy, the blessings of immunity, safeguard, liberty, and integrity, deserve the thanksgiving of a whole life.

Jeremy Taylor

more thoughts and ideas on thanksgiving



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