I've always found something simplistic in the notion of Thanksgiving. A time when we actually try and forget all of the woes we complain about every other day. It's a fantastic thing to think about. A day when nothing matters except for the good things. It's the one day of the year when we look past the storm to try and find the rainbows. The enumerated wonders that God provides in our life. Happiness is all around us!
This is a passage from the book eat pray love by Elizabeth Gilbert:
...people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, somthing that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainment.
Thanksgiving is the one time of year when we extend that challenge to ourselves. The challenge of finding that happiness. Happiness is a challenge withing each of us. This involves many steps.
First, we must make the conscience decision to be happy. We must make an agreement with ourselves that we will seek happiness.
Secondly, we must have the ability to do so. We must understand that we need to seek happiness as a perpetual journey. We must take the road to happiness - direction determines destination.
Lastly, we must surround ourselves with happiness. Happiness is very dependent on your surroundings. It is very dependent on what kind of person you are - and who you surround yourself with.
Try and take the road to happiness. Robert Frost once wrote
It makes all the difference on which path you take, the path to happiness or a different one. All you have to do is "Think of all the beauty still left around you, and be happy" as Anne Frank would say.
So, today, I'm thankful for happiness. For the struggle it takes, and the journey it provides. I pray that each of you can be happy!
For all of life's problems, ask God.