Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Many plans have been canceled. This is very sad. Finding gratitude may be extra challenging.
Some thoughts from C.S. Lewis’s Letters to Malcom that I find helpful:
First, he says that gratitude should lead us to adoration. We give thanks for good gifts–and then adore the Giver of those gifts:
“Gratitude exclaims, very properly, ‘How good of God to give me this.’ Adoration says, ‘What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations [glimmerings] are like this!’ One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun.”
Next, he notes that it’s difficult to turn gratitude into adoration. There are several roadblocks:
- Inattention (perhaps this is the most common roadblock in our culture of distractedness?).
- Wrong kind of attention. Now we’re paying attention to the thing we are thankful for, but “ignore the smell of Diety that hangs about it.” We must remember that that turkey was created, after all!
- Greed. This gratitude fails to adore because it’s too busy saying “More!” Nothing wrong with seconds–we just need to pause and consider the Giver.
- Conceit. Here Lewis says, “There is also conceit: the dangerous reflection that not everyone can find God in a plain slice of bread and butter, or that others would condemn as simply ‘grey’ the sky in which I am delightedly observing such delicacies of pearl and dove and silver.” If we’re secretly patting ourselves on the back because we’re better at thanksgiving than the ingrates around us, we’re certainly missing the point.