“We quickly adapt to our material possessions and soon we hardly notice that the new furniture is any different from the old. But paradoxically perhaps, our supposedly fleeting experiences endure.”
What to Consider
- What is an experience you have had for which you are grateful? What is a material possession for which you are grateful? Has one made you happier over the long-term than the other?
- Does gratitude affect your spending patterns? Do you consider what you will be more grateful for ten years down the line?
- Can you think of a time when gratitude for an experience cultivated generosity toward others?
- The article concludes with a question that is worth contemplating: “How can we cultivate gratitude in our increasingly materialistic, consumerist world?”
How to Go Deeper
- Plan a service day that helps maintain your local community infrastructure so that community members have a place for gratitude-inducing experiences. You might clean up a park, maintain a hiking trail, or help garden at a community center.
- Organize an all-church event that focuses on bringing people together through shared experiences. Later, offer a time for participants to share the things for which they were most grateful.
- Preach a series on gratitude. Take time in each service for congregants to share stories of thanksgiving.