Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sick, Yet Still Thankful

It just had to happen. You know how it works. Murphy's law... the credo of pessimists all over the world. If something bad can happen, it will happen. But why did Murphy have to stick his foot into my Thanksgiving?

For weeks we have been planning a Thanksgiving family day with Valerie's parents coming into town and my aunt driving down from Wisconsin. But Murphy had some others ideas. On Tuesday everyone in my house got sick, from my little Preston to Pop pop. Wednesday became a day of lounging, laziness, sleeping, and trips to the toilet. Our Thanksgiving plans seemed ruined.

In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, Jesus speaks about God who provides for our every need. If God takes care of birds and flowers, God certainly will take care of you. So why worry? Murphy and his band of pessimists say life should be nothing but worry. But for those who live by faith, worry can be thrown in the trash can so that God's blessings in life can be enjoyed.

Thanksgiving is ruined? Not if I look at my family and recognize just how blessed i am. Not if stand in awe of all that God has planned for me, this despite my own failings. Truly I am thankful to the Lord.

So no this Thanksgiving is not ruined. Most of us are feeling better so the turkey is in the oven. My aunt is on the way down. And I am surrounded by my loving family and my loving God. "Seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." (Matthew 6:33-34a)

Thank you God!

Monday, November 06, 2006

November Thanks

There is so much we should be thankful for. One day is hardly enough for Thanksgiving, maybe it needs a month. Psalm 24:1 reminds us that "The earth and everything on it belong to the Lord" (CEV). If everything is the Lord's then it is only appropriate that we give thanks to God who does not hoard what is his, but instead provides for our needs with what he has created.

If what I have is God's, I wonder if I have received more than my fair share? In my 34 years of life, the hardest challenge I have had to face is recognizing that instant gratification is wrong. It leads me to spend beyond my means. It leads me to be selfish. And truly the expectation of instant gratification has made me dependent on stuff at the expense of faith.

For me the challenge of saying thanks includes sharing more and being open. As an act of faithfulness I have also tried to live more simply. I see at as a discipline for me to covet a DVD, or an item for my home, or tickets to an event, and instead of putting it on VISA telling myself "NO." In that "no" there is thankfulness. In that "no" I find the feeling that what you have given me, Lord, is more than enough.

Thank you Lord for your blessings. Surly my cup runs over.