Here are five Thanksgiving-themed quotes from the eminently quotable G.K. Chesterton. Whatever our circumstances – whether times of plenty or privation, calm or chaos, satisfaction or struggle – this old friend reminds us always to look to our Heavenly Father with thankful hearts and lips.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.
When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
Eminent Bible commentator Matthew Henry once told the story of his wallet being stolen. Reflecting on the incident, the first thing Henry did was to give thanks. He considered the man who robbed him and wrote, “1.) I am thankful that he never robbed me before. 2), I am thankful that although he took my wallet, he did not take my life. 3) Although he took all I had, it was not much. And 4), I am glad that it was I who was robbed, not I who did the robbing.”
Matthew Henry knew how to do something each of us needs to learn: to be grateful in all circumstances. As St. Paul wrote in an oft-quoted passage, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:18). Ingratitude really is the first step away from God, the first precipitous shuffle toward unbelief and ungodliness (See Romans 1). The fight for followers of Jesus is to be grateful, daily, even in the midst of trials, to cultivate a heart of thanks for small and easy-to-overlook blessings, to refuse the easy sin of taking God for granted. The Bible calls us to be sober, and one sure expression of that soberness is to look around, to notice what God is doing, and then to lift up gratitude from the heart – and to say so, to voice our thanks to our Father and to those around us. Gratitude toward God really is the ground of our peace, joy, and faithfulness.
So Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I am very thankful for you!