So an 86 year old man from West Bend, WI won the coloring contest for this year's Sendik's Tim the Turkey contest. It's a fantastic piece of art: almost looks like a stained glass window. Must have taken a long time! (And congratulations, by the way!)

Makes me wonder if the person who colored that page thought about the gifts that had been given to him to be able to make something so beautiful.

Which is, of course, what this time of the year is all about. Giving thanks. 

But should we focus so much on the earthly things?

I recently asked a Bible class to write out what they were thankful for on some note cards. I took the results and categorized them: people, things, spiritual. From a group of about ten there was only one thing on the list related to the spiritual. And that was from a Bible class! If that isn't irony, then I'm Tim the Turkey.

Ok, so the point is made: we tend to focus on the stuff we can see, touch, hold. It's not that we don't recognize the spiritual things in our life. It's that we assume them. And that can be quite the devilish trick.

Take another example. Did any of you get up this morning, and as you reached for the light switch wonder, "I really hope the lights turn on"? Believe me, there are many people in the wolrd who WOULD wonder that, but I'm guessing that to my typical audience of North Americans, the thought rarely if ever crosses their mind. We are blessed with a steady and consistent supply of power.

And that's the "problem" with the spiritual things, with God's love: it's steady, consistent, always there. And therefore an easy target to be assumed.

So it's a good idea to look around you with spiritual thanksgiving. To look at the material things and whispher a quiet prayer of thanks to God. It's good to look at your family members whom you love and pray in your heart a song a thanksgiving to God for them. It's good to look at God's Word, your Savior living, dying and rising for you, it's good to look at eternal life, it's good to look at the spiritual things and let those fill your heart with thanksgiving.

It's good to thank God first--it can be easy to miss.