The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanks-getting or Thanks-living?

Yesterday Americans celebrated their day of Thanksgiving. The day was filled with a lot of cooking and eating.

Traditionally, the day following this day of feasting is called Black Friday. It is called Black Friday because historically merchants made enough money on the day following Thanksgiving to put their accounts in the black. This means that the battle to get the money out of American consumers’ pockets into the till has caused retail outlets to open their doors on day of Thanksgiving. One advertiser has played on this hunger to acquire more stuff as Thanks-getting. In recent years, there has been an increasing negative reaction by the citizenry on this retail assault on a day set aside for family traditions. Apparently, many people are recognizing that there is more to life than the accumulation of more items for their closets and knick knack shelves.

I propose that we move from Thanks-getting to Thanks-living. What would it mean to practice Thanks-living?

I heard it best expressed in this sentiment I read several times in the last week: “What if you woke up on Friday with only the things you were thankful for on Thanksgiving Day?’

Thanks-living is about a daily attitude of humble gratitude. Gratitude is the place of humble acknowledgement that life is more than one’s small existence. There is a larger universe and larger meaning to our lives than our small existence. Gratitude is the first step toward the Divine; ingratitude is the first step away from the Divine.

Thanks-living focuses on what is important in life: a relationship with the Divine Lover and relationships with people around us.

Thanks-living knows that there are no givens in life so it prizes each day and each relationship.

Thanks-living knows that the sum of life is totaled up in the acquisition of goods.

Thanks-living realizes that generosity expresses the largeness of the heart while miserliness shrinks the heart.

Thanks-living acknowledges that care of the environment is a significant part of thanks-living because our environment is the womb in which we move and have our being.

Thanks-living bears testimony that we know being thankful is a lifestyle not just a one day a year celebration.

Ronald Friesen © 2015

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