It’s November and (hopefully) talk of giving thanks is in the air. I love Thanksgiving. I have to admit that it’s probably my favorite holiday for several reasons. (Sorry Christmas!)
- It’s a holiday all about being thankful. How cool is that?
- It hasn’t been commercialized like most holidays these days. For that I am very thankful.
- It’s a fairly low-pressure holiday for someone who likes to cook (me!)
- It’s got PIE!
There are lots of reasons why it’s important to give thanks but one of the best, in my opinion, is that gratitude is a great way to express love. When you take the time to appreciate someone in your life, it shows that you value that person; that you admire or even love them. I, for one, am very grateful for my husband and when I thank him for all the big and little things he does for me, I hope he feels how much I love him.
Sometimes, we express love for one another by appreciating a gift that was given to us. My sister is amazingly creative and a very talented quilter. I, however, am not a quilter. I took one class and realized that I couldn’t even sew a straight line (which is very important in quilting!) Years later when I was cleaning out a closet, I came across the unfinished quilt I had started in that class and decided to give it to Rita. Fast-forward several months later to a baby shower begin held in honor of my sister-in-law (expecting her sixth child), Rita (expecting her fourth), and myself (expecting my third child). Rita surprised me by giving me the quilt I had started so many years before. She had taken time during her pregnancy to finish what I had started. It was beautiful! I can’t tell you how grateful and overwhelmed I was by that gift. Every time I look at that quilt, I think about how much love she put into it. But how in the world could I reciprocate? There’s no way I could ever give her a gift of equal beauty. However, I can treasure that quilt and care for it so that it can be used for years to come. And through my actions and attitude, I can show my sister how much I love her.
In much the same way, gratitude for Creation can help us express our love for God, the Creator. After all, He worked pretty hard to make this world for us. And He did it out of love. There’s no way we could give Him a gift even CLOSE to the beauty and magnitude of the earth and all its creatures. But we can show our love for Him by the way we care for His gift.
First of all, we can show our admiration. Fall is a wonderful time to spend time admiring Creation. The weather is cooler, the leaves are turning colors, and the bountiful harvests are being brought in. We can also show our gratitude to our Father in heaven for His amazing gift in physical ways. Just the mere act of using the beautiful fall leaves to mulch our gardens instead of raking and bagging them is a great start. Using cloth napkins everyday instead of only on special occasions is a simple way to be kinder to the earth and to show our love for God. Or we could even use some of those leaves to create beautiful works of art. That would be a great way to draw attention to the beauty of Creation!
There are many ways to show our gratitude for the earth and alls its living things but caring for Creation is a way that will make sure we’ll be able to use and enjoy it for years to come. So, take some time this month and say, “Thank you, God!” by seeking out ways to care for the earth. God will be glad you did.
Copyright 2012 Laura Nelson