Thanksgiving Day is a few weeks away.  Decorations with turkeys and Pilgrim will replace Jack-o-lanterns and ghosts.  Families and friends will gather for feasts and football games.  Colorful and elaborate parades take place.  Turkey, cranberries and naps are usually on the menu. It seems to me that Thanksgiving Day has lost some of its luster in recent years.  Sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas; for some Thanksgiving has become only the day before Black Friday.  Historically, Thanksgiving is the American expression of a harvest festival as a day to celebrate and give God thanks for the fruits of the land from the growing season.  The hard days in the fields are complete and a winter’s rest is at hand. I think we are blessed to live here where agriculture remains vital.  Even if we are not working in agriculture, we can see and understand where much of our food is coming from.  Alongside all the hard work and the science that allows crops and animals to flourish, there is a sense of wonder. It is in that place of work and wonder that we give thanks to God.  It is not just one day that we are encouraged to do this, but all our days.  This exemplifies living in a state of gratitude.  Behavioral psychologists have noted that grateful people are generally happier people. It is all too easy to focus on the bad, the harmful and the hurtful.  We may do so much of it, that our lives are twisted to seek more of it.  What we look for, we usually find. To be grateful is to look for the good, the supportive, the life giving.  It orients our lives and viewpoints to see the wonder and divine that is all around us.  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. “  I Thessalonians 5:16-18   Pastor John