This month would not be complete without mentioning how we can give thanks for all things — not just during the Thanksgiving Meal, but at all times.
Giving thanks in unlikely situations is explained perfectly in a post from Rev. Teresa Burton with Unity’s Daily Word publication.
A few weeks ago, I had an appointment at my pharmacy for my yearly flu shot. The line was long and slow moving, full of people waiting to pick up prescriptions. As I waited to get my shot, I observed the scene around me.
I heard people complain. On their phones to unseen others. To one another. And to the hapless pharmacy staff, whose every transaction seemed to be beset by some kind of problem.
Even though I was not privy to the details, I could tell the news was not good. One after another, people left the line irritated, muttering, and angry. The pharmacy staff took each customer in turn, remaining courteous and professional. Yet, I could sense their frustration wearing on them, leaving them discouraged and dispirited.
Gratitude is easier when we’re surrounded by loved ones and a table full of food. It’s more of a reach when we’re surrounded by cranky strangers and exhausted others who, despite their desire to help us, are frustrated by circumstances often beyond their control.
I realized I could send them a different kind of energy. Rather than just feeling sorry for them or even praying for them, I blessed them with thoughts of gratitude. As I considered their particular challenges—dealing with customers who are in pain or ill or charged with the care of someone who is, communicating with doctors’ offices and insurance companies, each one a little different in its policies and procedures—I appreciated their efforts.
Of course, focusing on gratitude might have been more of a challenge if I had not been feeling well or worried about a loved one at home, as many were. But even if I had been, feeling gratitude for those who were trying to help me would still have been worthwhile. …
We never know what someone may be going through at the moment. Stopping to show compassion is good, but maybe focusing on thoughts of gratitude during their particular challenges would bless both them and ourselves.
I will remember this lesson next time I am in a slow line at the grocery store. Or when a driver ahead of me on the road acts (what I think is) sporadically. I will give thanks for all things, good or not so good!