So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col. 2:6-7
I love this verse and I am challenged with the notion of “overflowing with thankfulness.” I’ve been thinking about this all day – you can’t overflow until you’re full to the brim and you can’t be full to the brim until plenty has gone on before. I don’t think you can be overflowing with thanksgiving one day of the year. Perhaps you can express your thankfulness for people or events or things one day of the year but you can’t be overflowing until the mindset of thankfulness has been grounded and nurtured – rooted and built up over time – learned and practised.
Saying “Thank you” isn’t necessarily being thankful. Saying “Thank you” is being polite but being thankful is a very intentional choice. Every day, we have endless opportunities to choose thankfulness but so often, we don’t. It isn’t natural to be thankful. It’s easier to complain, to compare and to want more than we have.
To be thankful takes reflection and most of us need a reminder to count our blessings. I often pray for a “here and now” contentment.
Here are some of my favorite quotes about thankfulness. I would encourage you to take a little time to reflect on the words. May we all be people who eventually overflow with thanksgiving.
The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies;
but let the thankful heart
sweep through the day and,
as the magnet finds the iron,
so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!
Henry Ward Beecher
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous and noble,
but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.
Johannes A. Gaertner
There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.
Ralph H. Blum
You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.
I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.