I was talking with one of the members of our congregation earlier in the week and she was telling me how she was grateful for hand written mail in these days of email and impersonal mail. I was struck by how well she is practicing gratefulness. It is so easy to miss the little things in life like a letter. A letter, written by hand takes time and energy and to notice that effort and be thankful for it is wonderful.
To practice gratefulness we need to be awake and aware of what is going on around us. So often we are going to fast and doing too much and as a result we miss what is actually happening and what we are actually doing. To notice a letter means that we need to slow down and look around us. The other day it was raining here (we get over a 100 inches of rain a year) and I was thankful that I had a place to be dry and when it was time to go I was thankful for a rain gear to keep me dry. (Riding your bike in intense rain is quite an experience. When it rains here it rains hard)
What really grounds us in our practice of gratefulness is when we realize that "Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light (James 1:17 The Message)" It is God in his love and faithfulness who is giving us all the good gifts and so our gratefulness is thanksgiving to a loving and generous God. The natural outflow of gratefulness is worship. Worship is about thanksgiving and praise to a God who is generous and kind.
Our ultimate source of thanksgiving is the cross of Christ where we see God's love and mercy so clearly. Praise be to Christ!