Maintaining An Attitude of Gratitude - Day Five

In 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt gave in to the requests of business leaders and retail giants and moved Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday in November, to coincide with the beginning of Christmas shopping season.  

This move ostensibly created "Black Friday" shopping, long lines outside of "big box" stores and riots inside Wal-Mart over cheap TVs, which is kind of a bummer.  

At the heart of the mania that surrounds all of the shopping that will take place today is a sense of lack.  We have that sense of lack embedded in our brains through advertising, social expectations and more broadly by our own messed up ideas of what we truly need.  

So in order to protect ourselves from the emptiness that comes from this false sense of scarcity that we feel, we want more and more...  This helps us at the moment to feel more certain, more guarded against lack.  

But in a strange way, our efforts to assuage our feelings of scarcity by buying more things for ourselves and others tend to have the opposite effect.  When we try to protect ourselves against uncertainty and misfortune through acquisition we typically find ourselves more anxious and vulnerable.  

When we live from a place of scarcity... when we worry constantly about having enough... when we struggle to live open-handed with ourselves and what we have...  we will struggle to authentically and wholly be generous.  

Jesus said, “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”

This then is the paradox of generosity.  It can't be faked.  It can't be purchased.  It can't be the means to a more self-serving end.  It must be Generosity itself that is desired--a life lived from a place of abundance and not of lack.  

May you seek Generosity as a value to be cherished and a life goal to be attained.  May you do so from a place of peace--resisting the urge to act from scarcity and fear.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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