Bright Spot: Giving thanks for a good, long life

Pastor Rick Sams
Pastor Rick Sams

I’m a collector of something strange. That’s different than being a “strange collector.”

Longevity factors. I want to be clear that I’m not hyper about death. I feel confident about where I’m going after I breathe my last solely based on my relationship with Jesus. (John 11:25)

I’m not crazy about the process of dying however.

So I’ll often read articles that boast ways to not only extend life, but add value to it … the old quality and quantity thing. “Don’t just count your days, but make your days count” clichés fit. The Psalm writer was getting at that when he exhorted us to “number our days aright and gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

The longevity factors that show up in scientific and popular articles repeatedly are:

∙ Exercise

∙ Diet

∙ Sleep

∙ Stress management

∙ Social connections

∙ Gratitude

The last one on the list is this week’s focus for obvious reasons – The Ohio State vs. Michigan.

Just kidding.

It’s the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s the one that still resists over-commercialization, just one of the reasons it’s my favorite.

Scientists and social scientists like Dr. Shawn Achor’s TED talk tout the gratitude attitude like it’s a fresh discovery for mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Someone should tell them to read the book of Psalms and give God the credit (glory). There, over and over, we’re told to praise and thank, not just because it’s good for us, but because God is worthy.

What a worthy tradition to start around your Thanksgiving table – each one simply say something they are thankful for. It will help you put more days in your life AND more life in your days.

Rick Sams is pastor emeritus of Alliance Friends Church.

This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: Bright Spot: Giving thanks for a good, long life