Taking things for granted/Always wanting more? Good candidates, especially in our consumer culture!
But there is another: fear, worry, stress
I want to be thankful. But all these things I'm stressed about keeps getting in the way!
And even if "life is good" for you, there is a whole smorgasbord of stress offered up to you each day! So much to fret over, to say "what is this world coming to" about!
Cares and Lures of life:
Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23):
7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.
Most of the Christians that I spend time with, and I myself... we seem to have a pretty good handle on the lures. It is the cares that are tripping us up.
...And that's why I always seem to return to these verses in Matthew 6...
Giving Thanks, Being Content
In Matthew 6, Jesus seems to be talking to those distracted by the cares more than the lures
They weren't the rich (whom Jesus did spend time with)
They were stressed over things most of us take for granted
Q: Are you more concerned with having too little this Thanksgiving, or eating too much?
Jesus redirected them:
Your Father knows what you need... yes!
But also, isn't if "funny" that Jesus directed them to look at the birds flying overhead, and the flowers blooming all around them?
Doesn't that sound restful?
Paul said "whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy... think about these things!" (Philippians 4) Jesus seems to be saying, "look at them, seek them out!"
Against Our Society of Lures and Cares...
Advertisers offer us lures; the news offers us cares
Jesus offers us contentment, and thankfulness is key. They go hand-in-hand.
You know yourself (God knows you better, but...)
If you are vulnerable to the lures... Remember that story (maybe you lived it) of the parents who spent a fortune on a Christmas gift, and the child had more fun with the cardboard box it came in?... BE THAT CHILD
If you are vulnerable to the cares... If you've got the weight of the world bearing down on you, quit trying to prepare yourself for how bad things can be, take it one day at a time, and be thankful for what, and who, you have. Consider the lilies and the birds flying overhead, that God provides for them, and will provide for you...
If you've learned how to practice thanksgiving, if you've learned (as Paul did) the secret of contentment beyond your present circumstances, help your family to see it.