This Thanksgiving, I can’t help but reflect on one of my favorite home videos – in which my son is jumping on the trampoline with his baby sister. The dialogue goes as follows:

Sawyer: “Mommy, tank you for getting me a baby.”

Caroline: “Where do you think we got her?”

Sawyer (without a moment’s hesitation): “At the gwocery staw.”

Besides being insanely cute, there’s a few nuggets about the nature of thanksgiving buried in the exchange:

 

1. Thanksgiving is Contagious

Sawyer may not have had all his facts straight, but man was his heart full of pure, undiluted gratitude – and it was contagious. His grin-filled words radiated like a beaming beacon of light that was just begging to be shared. I couldn’t help but smile myself and give thanks to God for blessing us with the gift of these children. My wife does a fantastic job of this, too. Whenever I want to grumble in self-pity, her thankful heart reminds me of everything I have and should be grateful for.

 

2. Thanksgiving is Life Giving

As a father, any time one of my little girls bats those eyelashes and says, “Tank you, Daddy!” – all my worries, concerns, and thousand-things-to-do melt away for that temporary second when my heart turns to mush. I find myself refueled and motivated to give my best efforts towards this thing called parenting. The effect isn’t just confined to the home though – a little bit of gracious recognition goes a long way in the workplace, too (the motivation bit, not the heart melting part). It’s easier to work hard when you’ve been tossed a life giving thank-you or two.

 

3. Thanksgiving is Spiritual

There is something about a thankful heart that draws us closer to God. It represents a state of humility, a recognition of who is in control, and a shedding of the manipulating control of the things of this world. It is the basis of praise and worship:

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

    go into his courts with praise.

    Give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4 NLT)

 “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV)

 

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you all eat lots of turkey and have much to be thankful for!

– Nicolas C. Day

 

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4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving, a Trampoline, and a Contagious Spirit of Gratitude

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