Saturday, November 23, 2013

Exercising the Thanksgiving Muscle

I am learning that muscle memory is a good thing to have when I work out at the fitness center.  When I miss a few weeks of exercising, it seems like I have to start all over in training the muscles to do what they are intended to do.  After weeks and months of consistent exercise, I do not have to think through the process as much.  Even though it takes effort, it’s like it is second nature to complete the workout.

Especially around this time of the year, the Thanksgiving muscle comes into focus.  Just like my need to work out physically, I also need to exercise my gratefulness muscles.  The more intentional I am about looking for how God and people are blessing me, and others, the easier it is to be aware of their gifts.  When I am thankful, I acknowledge the gift and giver and realize once again that I am not on this journey alone.  Unlike physical exercise, the thanksgiving memory muscle is not limited by temperature, weather, time of the day or night, or location.

I’ve noticed that when the thanksgiving muscle memory is maximized, I don’t have to think twice before I:
* take time to notice and acknowledge my blessings
* express my gratitude through prayer
* speak a word of thanks and encouragement
* jot a note, send a card or write a letter
* make a telephone call to express my gratitude
* look for ways to bless someone else, too

It is important to exercise and train both the physical muscles and the thanksgiving muscles.  And since we are abundantly blessed, it is vital to keep the memory going on the thanksgiving muscle by exercising it every day of the year. 

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Psalm 95:2

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1-3

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
2 Thessalonians 1:3

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