As we approach Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, one of the things that happens to us is that we tend to get overwhelmed with shopping lists, meals to make, parties to consider, gifts to wrap, decorations to hang, and all of the rest.
or in the words of Professor Hinkle: busy, busy, busy.
People have described the holidays to me like a current that pulls you under which, in order to survive, you have to just swim with it…because if you try to swim against it, it’ll drown you.
Maybe a bit dramatic, but the point is: the holidays can drown us if we’re not alert to it.
So let’s be alert.
And so let’s listen to what Paul said in Colossians 4:2:
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.
As we continue in our Central Thoughts mini-series on gratitude, I want us to ‘keep alert’ as Paul instructs us:
Keep alert in prayer with thanksgiving.
THE way to not drown this holiday season – and in life in general! – is to keep alert in prayer with thanksgiving. Don’t forget about thanksgiving. Don’t let your ‘gratitude guard’ down. Don’t fall asleep on thankfulness, stay awake for it! Keep gratitude to God absolutely central in your heart, thoughts, and mind…so much so that it’s like you are “alert” in it.
So how can we do this, practically?
Write an Advent gratitude list.
Here’s what I want you to do – and it’s very simple, but also can be quite powerful: before Thanksgiving Day, get out a piece of paper (or open a new note on your phone), number the page down 1 through 30, and write down 30 things that you are thankful for. They can be big important life-changing things, little things that brighten your day, or even small things that no one knows about but you. But make sure – by Thanksgiving Day – to write down 30 things you’re thankful for.
Then, starting on Black Friday, go down the list day after day and pray about/thank God for one item per day. You’ll get to your 30th item on Christmas Eve, so that by Christmas Day, you will have ‘kept alert’ with thanksgiving throughout this entire holiday season. And heck, if you want to go above and beyond, add 7 more items to make it through to New Year’s Day!
Simple enough? Give it a try this holiday season: keep alert in prayer with thanksgiving.