In order to be thankful, I ask myself, what must I do? First, I have to prayerfully reflect on my life and living of this past year and discern what gifts I have received. This exercise is really more than the daily practice of the tenth step of AA. It is an examination of conscience, descending from the general mode of conduct in human affairs to the particular events and relationships in my life.

First of all, I realize that, in order to be thankful, I must come before my God in a humble stance, asking to see myself as He sees me. This grace fervently desired and asked for, will not be withheld from me. But am I willing to accept it, I ask myself? I know that I cannot be thankful if somehow I feel inadequate. Therefore I must accept myself as I am and start from that point.

As a recovering alcoholic, for me it is best to have set some standard with which to measure my conduct and relationships. So, for this year, I am using the following measurement:

  • Do I have an increased acceptance of responsibility for my own actions?
  • Is there a decreased incidence of arguing?
  • Is there an increase in overt signs of gratitude each day?
  • Is there an improved sense of humor?
  • Is there a growing desire within me to reach out and  help other people?

This exercise can be both humbling and truly sobering. It has the possibility of providing a way to further growth in the Spirit as well as providing more happiness in my life. I do not take it lightly, nor can I expect perfection. But this is enough to truly celebrate Thanksgiving 2014.

Lord God, full of love and grace,

You have encountered us in Your Son, Jesus,

And filled us with Your life through the Holy Spirit.

Thank you, Lord, for inviting me on

The Journey of Recovery.

Thank you for the ways You have been part of my life,

In times of solace and in times of stress.

Thank you for the growth I have felt in my relationship

With You Jesus and the Spirit.

Grant me the grace to continue on my

Journey of Recovery.

Grant me the strength to invite others

To take The Journey of Recovery.

Renew my personal experience of you, Jesus.

Empower me to share Your love in the Spirit

With all I meet on my journey.

Amen.