A Thankful Perspective
By Peter Lundell –
I often think of how in their first year the Pilgrims lost 50 percent of their group to starvation and disease. They suffered unimaginably (partly by their own bad timing of arriving in the fall), but none wanted to go back to England. A year later they celebrated a time of thanksgiving.
The folks in Jamestown, thirteen years before them, also suffered unimaginably, and they all wanted to go back to England. They never once observed a time of thanksgiving.
There’s a reason for this. Beyond all the details of each settlement’s history, Jamestown was settled for economic reasons. Their eyes were on wealth, and the survivors found little of it. Who would be thankful? In contrast, Plymouth was settled by people who wanted freedom of worship. Their eyes were on heaven, and the survivors experienced God’s deliverance. They found much to thank God for.
Thankfulness and a right perspective on life do not go together by accident.
When I’m thankful I tend to have an honest view of my life and what I have, and when I’m not thankful I only think of what I don’t have.
When I’m thankful I tend to see God at work, and when I’m not thankful I see myself struggling.
When I’m thankful I think of others, and when I’m not thankful I think only of me.
When I’m thankful I worry less than when I’m not. Simply choosing to be thankful leads me to find things to be thankful about.
If for no other reason, it’s worth being thankful just to get a right perspective in life. Thankfulness nurtures a healthy heart and mind.
BIBLE VERSE: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:4–5 NIV).
PRAYER: My Father in Heaven, lead my heart to feel with thankfulness. Lead my mind to think with thankfulness. Open my eyes to see beyond myself—to what You are doing and how I am a part of it.