Here in the Western Protestant world, we tend to shy away from Spiritual Practices and Disciplines, except for Bible reading, prayer, and perhaps fasting. We tend to understand some of them as too mystical, and others of them as “earning our salvation”, in a sense.
Yet, practices have value. They can help us put first things first. They can help us focus on God and what he has done for us. Spiritual practices and disciplines can be a way to allow God into our daily lives, outside of our church attendance.
With this post, we are starting a new series titled “Practices For The Holidays”. Through November, I will be offering suggestions of ways that we can meaningfully recognize Thanksgiving in our own lives, then through December, I will do the same for Advent. This will continue throughout the year, according to the Church Calendar. The goal will be to draw out the meaning of the Holidays in the midst of our everyday lives.
So that brings us to the first practice for Thanksgiving: make a list. Make a list of all that you have that you don’t need.
No, seriously, go get a pen and paper and make a list.
See, we can think about all the things that we have. We can understand mentally that we have more than we need. But there is something about the action of writing it all down. There is something in seeing it all listed there in front of you. There is something in turning the page over because you don’t have enough room to write it all down, and then finding a second sheet because you need even more room.
So, go get a pen and paper and make a list. These are the things you have to be thankful for.