“Thanksgiving was never meant to be limited to one day.”
My goal this month was to make a conscious effort to be thankful for something every day. It’s been harder than I expected. Not that I’m not thankful. I thank God before meals and for green traffic lights when I’m in a hurry and for parking spots and all sorts of little things during the day. But I find that I get distracted easily. I’m not paying attention to the things that are more subtle but maybe hold deeper meaning. I suspect that’s a problem for most of us in our faith journey–not paying attention. Imagine what God could do through us if He had our undivided attention like the book we’re reading or the movie we’re watching.
These are the things that happened to catch my attention this week:
Sunday: A much loved pastor announced his resignation. Our loss is another church’s gain. I’m thankful for ministers who strive to accurately teach God’s word, who allow us to see their own struggles, and encourage us in ours.
Monday: Some pastors are serving in the armed forces, shepherding a flock of soldiers through a long and dangerous mission. Others serve in hospitals and in prisons and other areas where the rest of us rarely go. I’m thankful for chaplains who minister to sheep with special needs.
Tuesday: A cool front blew through last night and the air smelled fresh and crisp and clean this morning. I’m thankful for cool, fresh air.
Wednesday: An article in today’s paper described a local ceremony where over a hundred people became U.S. citizens. They came from many different countries–some serving in our military, others working hard to make a better life for themselves. The hope and joy these people expressed at becoming citizens reminded me not to take for granted the freedom and opportunities this country offers. I’m thankful for these people who contribute to the fabric of our society and make this country the strong nation that it is.
Thursday: A week from today, we’ll be feasting on turkey and sweet potatoes and stuffing and green beans and pumpkin pie. Grocery shopping seems like a chore until you take the time to stand and gaze at the variety and quality of food available to us. We take it for granted, until a hurricane blows through or some other disaster empties the store shelves. And even then, it’s only for a few days–not days and weeks and months like other places around the world. I’m thankful for an abundance of healthy, nourishing food.
Friday: A rare day to be home with my husband without any kids. I’m thankful for my kids but I’m also very thankful that I still enjoy hanging out with this guy I met on Thanksgiving Day thirty years ago.
Saturday: Our high school football team plays a tournament tonight. The lights, the band, the cheerleaders, the dance team, the players and coaches. It’s an exciting time and I’m thankful for the many good lessons that sports can teach young people. And old people, too, if we’re paying attention!