11/20/2002 Finding Reasons To Be Thankful
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, our minds are turning toward things like turkey, (with all the trimmins' & fixins'), and coordinating either arriving family members, or our own trips to be with loved ones.
Since it's the time of literally giving thanks, I'd like to suggest that, at some point over the next week or so, you give a little thought to the idea of gratitude. But I'm not talking about just the standard don't-forget-the-REAL-meaning-of-Thanksgiving reminder that we're all so familiar with. Instead, I'm referring to something a bit more subtle, and something so very appropriate for people who believe in the special power and comforts of our friend St. Jude. Let's face it, people like us who pray to St. Jude are people who have difficulties and are seeking help. Superhuman help. Beyond what we can do ourselves.
This praying involves making our petitions known, and then opening our hearts, minds, and souls to the special revelations that God, through St. Jude's intercession, has set aside for us. In the course of our prayer, we are often called upon to wait, and keep our faith strong and our hope alive, until God's special graces are shown to us. For many people, that can be a long and trying time, whether it's to find a job, have relief from illness, or recover from a broken relationship.
It is precisely during this waiting period that we should be ever mindful of all that is transpiring around us, even if our original prayer has yet to be answered. And in being able to see the special graces, and tender blessings that God may have "set our tables with" while guiding us toward His larger plan for us. I'm not suggesting playing down or ignoring the true, heartfelt needs that we all are burdened with. But adopting an approach of true thanks is absolutely necessary for your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It has been shown that people who have an outlook that incorporates gratitude feel healthier, more energetic, optimistic, and positive - key requirements to overcoming obstacles. And as a St. Jude follower, I think having gratitude enables us to see our situation and challenges in a different light, and maybe even to see some good that has come as an unexpected result of the problem we are dealing with (whether it be a new friendship, renewed closeness with family members, or a new-found personal strength.) Often you will be surprised to find in these "little things" the very answers you prayed to St. Jude for!
So, to keep in mind this idea, consider this insightful statement by famed businessman and philanthropist Sir John Templeton: "An attitude of gratitude creates blessings." In fact I believe that having an attitude of gratitude may help you see the blessings more clearly in the first place!
Enjoy the holiday, and save a few sweet potatoes for me!
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