People Centered ThanksgivingEvery year, as we gather around the Thanksgiving table, every member of my family shares something that he or she is thankful for. I love this time. I love so much about Thanksgiving. I know that many people have difficult family dynamics, but both sides of my family are warm, loving, and essentially likeminded. It is always encouraging to go around the table and hear what these godly people are thankful for.

What are you most thankful for?

When I think about what my family and I are most thankful for, it’s surprising how ordinary these things are. We say things like family, work, solid relationships, children, grandchildren, food, salvation, freedom, etc.

How boring, right? We have these things year round. Assuming your year went decently, these things were a part of your daily routine. Shouldn’t we be wowed more by the major events and surprises in our lives than by the monotony of day to day life?

Perhaps Thanksgiving is nothing more than a big event that draws our attention back to the boring things that really matter.

We know that thankful hearts need to continue beyond our Thanksgiving vacations. If the things that we are most thankful for around the Thanksgiving table remain with us every day of our lives, then remaining thankful should be easy. Right?

It is a sad irony that we most often forget to appreciate those things with which we remain in constant contact. My iPhone was a miracle of technology and design until I began using it every day. Now it’s “just a smart phone.”

On a more serious note, my daughters caused me to weep when they first entered this world. And now they’re the most constant part of my everyday life. How do I remain thankful for these unbelievably precious gifts from God?

Much of this comes from taking time to remember how thankful we really are. This is why times like Thanksgiving are so valuable. But my wife and I often look at each other and remind ourselves how blessed we are. We can’t believe what God has given us and—even more significantly—who He is for us. We keep each other thankful in this way.

But there are also boring ways to be thankful for boring things. We show our appreciation for God’s gifts through the way we steward them. If my daughters are incredible gifts from God, then I should open my mouth and tell him “thank you.” But I should also be careful to treat them as gifts in the way I interact with them on a daily basis. We probably don’t think of our daily interactions as forms of thanksgiving, but faithfully stewarding God’s gifts is the best way to thank God for them—whether that gift is family, work, or your very salvation.

So however you are celebrating Thanksgiving this year, don’t forget to be thankful for the boring things in life. And don’t forget to do this through your words and through your faithful stewardship.

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Mark Beuving
Mark Beuving currently serves as Associate Pastor at Creekside Church in Rocklin, CA. Prior to going back into pastoral ministry, Mark spent ten years on staff at Eternity Bible College as a Campus Pastor, Dean of Students, and then Associate Professor. Mark now teaches online adjunct for Eternity. He is passionate about building up the body of Christ, training future leaders for the Church, and writing. Though he is interested in many areas of theology and philosophy, Mark is most fascinated with practical theology and exploring the many ways in which the Bible can speak to and transform our world. He is the author of "Resonate: Enjoying God's Gift of Music" and the co-author with Francis Chan of "Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples." Mark lives in Rocklin with his wife and two daughters.