"For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away." Matthew 25:29
Today in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving. We fill the day with parades, football, cooking, family, and shopping. We may recall the Pilgrims and the Native Americans feasting together. How many of us take the time to reflect on how blessed we are and be thankful for what we have?
The original celebration of Thanksgiving was different. It wasn't merely a harvest festival or a block party. The Pilgrims were truly grateful for what they had. They had much to complain about. They originally had meant to go to Virginia, they weren't expecting the cold New England winters. They had lost many of their companions to the harsh weather. Even by the standards of the day, they had little in material comforts. For one day at least, they chose to ignore all their hardships and be thankful for what they did have.
There is an old story about a man who lost his feet in an accident. He grew bitter about his loss and was always complaining. Finally one day he met a man who lost his legs in an accident. He realized how much worse his life could have been, and he starting being grateful for what he did have.
Having this attitude of gratitude by itself makes life less unpleasant. The consequences are more than just mental. As Jesus explained in the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25, we need to care for what we are given. If you are not thankful for what you have, you will not take care of it, and you will lose it.
We will need an attitude of gratitude to take care of what we have been given as we make the Long Ascent.
"This is the day which Jehovah hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:25 (ASV)