It Truly is a Wonderful Life

2 Corinthians 9:15: “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

I have a friend who, like me, loves Thanksgiving. However, he doesn’t really care for Christmas. You may be wondering why. Is it because it reminds him of a bad memory? Because he has no family to share it with? His reason is actually very simple––and sadly, a reality. He says that Thanksgiving is a time when people focus on what they do have. But then those feelings of thanksgiving have barely taken root before our attention is turned to what we don’t have. Yes, he loves Christmas––he spends it with his large family and celebrates Jesus’ life, which we should celebrate every day. But he is saddened that people can so quickly forget, just days after Thanksgiving, all the things they are blessed with.

It’s a Wonderful Life is a wonderful example of celebrating the things that are most important in our lives. It also shows how easy it is for us to get distracted by everyone else’s successes and possessions. Although this 1946 holiday classic has been around for decades, I only first saw it a couple years ago––but it quickly became a movie I will watch year after year.

As a young man, George Bailey dreams of traveling and making an impact. His goals are so honorable. But because of the man he is, these dreams are never able to unfold. The sacrifices he makes for others interfere with and delay his plans for travel and influence, until, years later, he realizes they will never happen. Like many of us, he doesn’t realize that the “wasted” years actually meant something. He didn’t get to travel the world and make an impact on the entire earth, but he made a large impact on the people in his own community.

This holiday season, let’s choose to be thankful for the things, people and talents we are blessed with, rather than the things we don’t have. We should always be “giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

by Lisa Grimenstein

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