|River Raisin walking bridge|
It's hard to be thankful when you feel you are mostly in want. In American culture we are constantly alerted to how little we have. Marketing serves to create need, and need indicates barrenness, since what you don't need you don't lack. This is why Linda and I mute commercials when we are watching TV. For the most part there is nothing in them that we need.
Thankfulness concerns something you have, not something you lack and therefore need. The sense of deprivation mutes gratitude. Columbia University professor of religion and culture Mark Taylor writes: "We have been conned... by an economic system that creates endless desire where there is no need." That is the prison house of perpetual ingratitude.
The vast, rolling verdant pasture of gratefulness is the land of "I shall not be in want." (Ps. 23:1) I cultivate this by intentional abiding in Christ, and harvest the many fruits of a thankful heart. Out of my heart, as another facet of praying, I say "Thank you again, God!"