We live in a culture of plenty. We often fall into the temptation of looking at the possessions belonging to others and feeling dissatisfied with what we have or where we are. We see bigger homes, nicer clothes, faster cars, more expensive restaurants. But should we be thankful for what we lack? I say yes. Here’s why:

1. We should be thankful we don’t have everything we could ever want. We wouldn’t have anything to which to look forward. No surprises or unexpected gifts. No satisfaction in saving to get something we really want or in giving a gift to another person. Life would be very boring.

2. We should be thankful when we don’t know something. We would never experience the wonder of learning, or the pleasure of teaching. We would never feel the joy of discovery.

3. We should be thankful for difficult times. These are opportunities for us to challenge ourselves, to rise to the occasion, to find satisfaction in proving ourselves and triumphing over adversity. Otherwise, we would never grow.

4. We should be thankful for challenges. They help us build strength and character. They help us improve.

5. We should be thankful for mistakes. In spite of their consequences, they teach us how to deal with our shortcomings and with embarrassment. They remind us that we aren’t perfect despite what some of us might think.

6. We should be thankful when we’re tired. It means that we’ve worked hard, and that we’ve made a difference. Through our efforts, someone else has benefitted. We’ve been a blessing.

So, we can be thankful for unusual things. Sometimes, it’s in those times where we aren’t living in perfect comfort that we see who we really are.