The Lovely “Steam” of Thankfulness

steamcupI came across some lovely thoughts this morning, by C. S. Lewis. So perfect for this time of year. Thanksgiving sets our minds to actually be looking for things in our lives and circumstances that are gifts– undeserved reasons to be grateful. Then we continue on quickly (faster every year, it seems) into the Christmas season, with its focus upon gift giving.

Ironically, at a time when we ought to be reminded of God’s unspeakable gift, from Whom that “free gift” is given…discontent can settle upon the heart.

Things aren’t ideal. Someone is missing. That “just right” something you had in mind to give a special someone…is elusive. The Christmas cookies burned, and the gingerbread house project for the children turned into a melee. The house isn’t clean enough, or Martha Stewart-ish enough for your guests. The roads are too icy. The clamoring crowds at the stores rattle your nerves. The trip to grandma’s takes too long. Our minds and spirits become overwhelmed by all the holiday hoopla.

So here is my advice. Let Thanksgiving continue. For the rest of the world, “Turkey Day” is one day of ridiculous feasting, with fabulous leftovers to follow. And then, like the picked-over bird carcass, it is gone.

Have a gratitude journal this Christmas season.

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?”

Psalm 116:12

treepileIf you were able to lay positively everything you’ve been given …every “good and perfect gift” from God was tied up and placed under your tree….how abundant would your Christmas feel to you? Then enjoy that feeling, because it is just so. Your breath, your sight, your loved ones, your talents, your voice, your most cherished memories, your warm home, art, music, sunsets, rainbows, mountain vistas, all that you love, everything in which you find comfort, joy, and happiness…and that “free gift” Paul so loved to talk about…you are heaped with these things…good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.

Enjoy this, as I did this morning:

…I dined at the Harwoods that night and came away—on Tuesday morning—as you said in your last letter ‘thanking the Giver’ which, by the way, is the completion of a pleasure. One of the things about being an unbeliever is that the steam or ‘spirit’ (in the chemical sense) given off by experiences has nowhere to go to.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume II
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Give off that lovely, fragrant “steam” today! Let it rise from your cup that runs over with thankfulness!

“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:17


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