Many of us will be gathering together with family and friends on Thanksgiving to celebrate…and for many of us, there is much to be thankful for. Here’s my list–not complete, because I’m sure I’ll think of more as the day goes on:
- A family who likes to get together
- A place to live that gives me shelter
- Warm clothes
- Enough food to eat
- The opportunity to share in worship freely with my church family
- Friends in many places
- A job that I have enjoyed
- Opportunities opening up as I move into retirement
- Reasonably good health, even though I periodically (as in currently) find myself dealing with mobility issues
- Access to the health care I need
As I look at this list, I am reminded that I don’t always give thanks–nor do I always live thankfully. So much of the time I take this for granted…and yet, at this time of year, I am aware that there are many who do not have these gifts that I have received.
I have the responsibility to live thankfully–and that means opening my heart and soul to those who may be “different” in some way from me. They may not look like me…worship like me…they may have had legal problems…mental health issues…be homeless. Some are dealing with physical health issues or have lost loved ones to death, either expected or unexpected. Yet they are also part of my extended family–and part of my thanksgiving.
So as we celebrate this time of giving thanks in the USA, I pray that we will remember it’s not just about stuffing ourselves with food…watching football…looking for the best price on that “must have” item for Christmas. It’s about recognizing the gift of life we have been given…and taking the responsibility of living in such a way that others will also be given the opportunity to live an abundant life.