Do we really notice the word, or do we just think of a big meal and a bit of history? We acknowledge the word as the act of giving thanks. Being thankful for what we have. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude, like we talked about here. But let's look at the word in another sense: Thanks-giving.
It struck me this morning that we are not truly grateful for our blessings as long as our hands, hearts, eyes, and wallets are closed. Thanksgiving to me means giving in recognition of all that I have been given. I am not showing true appreciation for the gifts in my life as long as I am not sharing them, paying it forward.
In 1000 Gifts, AnnVoskamp dissects the word eucharisteo, which is Greek for thanksgiving. But to go deeper, the word eucharisteo holds the words charis and chara, grace and joy. Her focus is on finding joy through the giving of thanks, being thankful for all of her blessings.
I am wondering, though, if another way to look at that is to find joy through thankful giving. I know that when I live freely, not counting the cost to me to serve another, I find joy. My heart finds peace. I'm less concerned with my own issues when I reach out to another. I find that as I express my thankfulness to God for what I have by giving of my time, talents, or funds, I am the one that is truly blessed and even more thankful than I was to start with.
I think I might be on to something here. What do you think?