Did you know that University of California Davis Professor Dr. Robert Emmons has dedicated his life and work to studying how gratitude affects human health and well-being? There is even a research lab in the UC Davis Psychology Department for studying gratitude!
“Gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives.”
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, and it is just a few weeks away. I can already taste the turkey and all the fixins. My mouth is already watering for the spread of desserts, and I assure you that this diabetic will not be deterred by a non-functioning pancreas on the 4th Thursday of November - my insulin pump is already locked and loaded! I love being with family for Thanksgiving. I love taking intentional time to be thankful, and express my gratitude to God, as well as my gratitude to others.
While a day set aside just for being thankful is something I love each year, gratitude is, sadly, not something that I practice nearly often enough. It seems like I spend more time focusing on the stresses and struggles of life, or wishing for more of what I need to make my life better. I need more gratitude in my life.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 implores us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Psalm 136 says, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.” This phrase, and phrases like it, are repeated many times in scripture. Maybe we should pay attention.
I recently stumbled across sixwordmemoirs.com where people submit their own six-word responses to particular topics, one of which is gratitude. Here are some of the responses:
Thankful my infant daughter survived cancer!
Five generations in one house - outstanding!
Smiling faces, rumbling tummies. All together.
Woke up this morning, still breathing.
Ranger grandson: Iraq, Afghanistan, home safe.
Grandson’s text: Kiss Nana, Hug Nana.
Thank you God. I’m so blessed.
I decided to give this a shot, and plan to do so for the rest of the month of November as an intentional practice of gratitude each day.
Thank God for Royston Baptist Church!