5 Senses Thanks­giv­ing

—A Spir­i­tual Ex­er­cise

Activated - - ACTIVATED - By Abi May

Ev­ery day is filled with happy mo­ments that we could thank God for, if we paused to ac­knowl­edge them. This thanks­giv­ing ex­er­cise is based on what we per­ceive through our five tra­di­tional senses.


Many things are beau­ti­ful to be­hold, whether nat­u­ral sights such as trees and flow­ers, cre­ated works such as art and ar­chi­tec­ture, or the sight of a friend or home af­ter an ab­sence. What plea­sur­able sights lined your path to­day? Thank God for them.


The war­ble of birds, the sound of mu­sic, or a loved one’s voice on the phone can bring a smile. What were the sounds that brought you plea­sure to­day? Thank God for them.


When God pro­vided food for the Is­raelites dur­ing their 40-year sojourn in the wilder­ness, it seems He was not only con­cerned with pro­vid­ing sus­te­nance, but also some­thing tasty. The psalmist later called manna, the mys­tery food that ap­peared on the ground each morn­ing, “an­gels’ food.” In an­other pas­sage we are

1 told that “its taste was like the taste of pas­try.”

2 Think back over what you ate and drank to­day. What fla­vors and tex­tures did you en­joy? Thank God for them.


The sense of smell is evoca­tive. Freshly mown grass re­minds us of sum­mer; a cer­tain perfume or cologne may re­mind us of a loved one or friend; the smell of a cer­tain food can con­jure up places and ex­pe­ri­ences from our past.

What good smells came your way to­day? What happy thoughts did they trig­ger? Thank God for them.


We see only with our eyes, smell only with our noses, taste only with our mouths, and hear only with our ears, but the sense of touch is trans­mit­ted through tiny nerve end­ings that cover us from head to toe. Each fin­ger­tip alone has around 2500 re­cep­tors.

Our days are filled with touch. We brush our child’s hair and feel its soft­ness. We hold a mug of warm tea or cof­fee. We splash cool wa­ter on our face on a hot day. What spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ences did you have to­day thanks to your sense of touch? Thank God for those. To de­velop this ex­er­cise fur­ther, con­sider start­ing a sen­sory thanks­giv­ing note­book. Each evening, jot down your day’s ex­pe­ri­ences of each sense. Just a word or two may be suf­fi­cient; it’s the mo­ments of ap­pre­cia­tive re­flec­tion that make this ex­er­cise valu­able.

Abi F. May is an ed­u­ca­tor and author in Great Bri­tain, and an Ac­ti­vated staff writer.

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