Do you have anything to be thankful for? In his classic novel Robinson Crusoe, author Daniel Defoe has shipwrecked Crusoe take inventory of his life. He makes two lists. One is a list of his problems. The other is an inventory of that for which he can give thanks.
A problem he writes is that he has no clothing. On his corresponding list he writes that the weather is warm and he really has little need for clothing. Another problem is that all of his provisions were lost at sea. But on the other list he writes that he has fresh fruit and water and can provide for himself. And so it goes. He lists his problems and likewise lists all that he has going for him. He is surprised at the size of the list of his assets.
How long would your list be if you took inventory of your blessings – all of that for which you can give thanks? For family. For friends. For faith. For health and the necessities of life. Did you know that some one million people will die this week…how is your health? Those who have food, clothing and shelter have more than much of our world’s population will ever possess. Do you have these necessities of living?
How long would your list be if you took inventory of your blessings…and added one new item daily? Would you be amazed at the size of the list?
You have 1,440 minutes in every day. How would your life be different if you spent just 15 of those minutes daily giving thanks? Just 15 minutes filling your mind with concrete examples of how fortunate you are? Most of us would discover even after a few days that the exercise was life changing!
Poet Courtland Sayers put it this way:
“Five thousand breathless dawns all new;
One million flowers fresh in dew.
Five thousand sunsets wrapped in gold;
One million snowflakes served ice cold.
Five quiet friends, one baby’s love;
One white sea of clouds above.
One June night in a fragrant wood;
One heart that loved and understood.
I wondered when I waked that day –
In God’s name – how could I ever pay?”
Christian mystic Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” I suspect he is right.