364 days out of the year, thankfulness seems like a foreign concept. We are inundated with marketing blitzes, commercials, new products, all designed to prey upon a sense of dissatisfaction with our present situation. There is a dark sense of foreboding that Black Friday sales seek to quench any sense of thankfulness with sheer, unabashed, unapologetic materialism. With all of the scheming that Black Friday planning requires, we don't even get a full 24-hours of gratitude before we pick up the chains of consumerism.
Beyond Black Friday, there is a perpetual dissatisfaction with life that we are sold solutions to through newer cars, bigger houses, better appliances, and shinier jewelry. This will come into clearer focus as we enter the Christmas season. Our own bodies are treated as commodities, as we are sold self-improvement techniques, diet plans, gym memberships, and promised a life of perpetual youth. This chase after an aura of affluence is especially apparent in Orange County, but representative of the country as a whole.
To live in a posture of thankfulness is one way in which the life in commitment to the way of Christ is in opposition to the dominant culture. Each week, we gather together and are reminded about how we have been invited into a relationship with God through the life and teaching of Jesus. This grace is nothing that we can earn or improve, but simply accepted with gratitude. The relationship grows deeper, surely, but the commonality between Christians is that they are on the journey together, all undeservedly.
Comparatively, all other blessings are subsidiary and secondary to this relationship. I am thankful for many things today: family, friends, fulfilling work, opportunity tot attend school, our economic situation, a growing community at Rock Harbor Fullerton, and health. I remember these things today for Thanksgiving, but my desire is to remember through the rest of the year and to let this seep into my consciousness and live out of a reality of abundance, relationship, and grace rather than dissatisfaction, competition, or inadequacy.
So today, but more importantly tomorrow, December, and the coming year, what does it look like for us to live in the posture of thankfulness?