Tag Archives: thankful

ThanksLiving

Meister-Eckhart-Quotes-25-The-Best-OnesOur church family has long prepared and served periodic meals for the weekly meetings of a local ministry that serves marginalized people in Malibu. After the meal there is a Bible study for those interested in staying, which ends up being a decent number of people. Last week, the message from the ministry leader was part sermon and part motivational speech that encouraged those in attendance to live with courage. I was particularly impressed by the connection he had with the motley audience. It was obvious that they liked him, which I suspect is in large part because he likes them.

At the end there was a short time of prayer — short because it was getting dark and the audience was well aware of when the city bus made its last run through Malibu. As the leader went person to person for short prayer requests, I was stunned to hear that the emphasis of a majority of people was on how thankful they were to God for their blessings.

Marginalized. Poor. Damaged. Broken. Homeless. And thankful.

I got in my car as the sun descended over the Pacific Ocean and drove back to a beautiful home on an immaculate university campus. And as I headed out I drove past this slow line of individuals that will cause citizens to roll up their windows and lock their doors. They were headed to the bus stop. To the beach. To the woods. To God knows where.

I have much to learn from those good souls. The car and the house and the job and the respect of society — none of it is worth very much if I do not live thankfully. To live thankfully regardless of circumstances is a true sign of success regardless of the outside packaging. 

Remember Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-crewI confess that I didn’t read the instructions very closely, but I’m pretty sure we can stop being thankful now that the holiday has passed.  I’m not 100% positive on this, but since we are apparently expected to line up at midnight and explode out of the starting blocks like Usain Bolt to beat our fellow citizens to the hottest deals, it seems that the time to appreciate what we already have has now passed and that we need new things for which to give thanks!

As the Black Fridays Matter shoppers launch a frontal assault on economic stagnation today, it is my understanding that one can now accomplish said shopping from the comfort of one’s own home.  Note to self: Remember to be thankful for that next year!  Although racing through a shopping mall plus a little mixed martial arts with your neighbor is undoubtedly a nice way to burn calories from the holiday feast.

I’m kidding.  Mostly, and sort of.  Good ol’ capitalism depends on this annual injection, and most of our pocketbooks could use the good deals offered today both for things we really do need as well as for things we really do share as expressions of love in this season of giving.  But you have to admit—the quick-change artistry from pausing in gratitude to sprinting for acquisition is humorous at least, and if we are honest, we may have a tiny little predisposition for going overboard.

But my thoughts today have less to do with shopping and more to do with memory.  Specifically, I don’t want to forget to be thankful when life hits the accelerator again.

Yesterday was pretty fantastic.  My little family was reunited, and we were honored to host a diverse group of friends for feasting and fun (and football).  We even had multiple international friends with us for their very first American Thanksgiving!  Our time together was a strong reminder of our personal blessings in this wonderful life.

I would like to experience that feeling on more days each year than the fourth Thursday in November, and if I can think crazy thoughts, maybe even every day?  In this frenzied life, I like to think that each and every day has enough space in it to pause and appreciate the good.

The Thanksgiving holiday may just come once each year, but maybe it can make such a strong impression as to lead us to infuse a little thanksgiving in every day.

The Thankful Life

3a61a4b7fda80b09de018f928e04a03dI once heard a speaker say that you could give everyone a sheet of paper with a line down the middle, ask everyone to write all the reasons to be happy on the left side of the paper and all the reasons to be sad on the right side of the paper, and everyone could fill up both sides.  The question is: Which side of the paper will you live your life on?

This week, by holiday, this particular nation asks everyone to pause and live on the thankful side.

I am thankful for the invitation.  I believe that I will.