Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Thanks-Being

We're wrapping up Thanksgiving, and I have had several days to run through the "list" of all the things I am thankful for, all the ways that I've been blessed. And, gosh, the list is long. All those things that are invisibly there until they're not there...

The blessing of a great family.
And a home that I love.
Money in the bank.
And a job to go to tomorrow.
Life-long friends.
My Mom's health.
And not much to count in the ways of hardships or trials.

But here's my question and my struggle -
Thanksgiving is for everyone. We all have a day to stop and give our Thanks. But what is Thanksgiving for those without a blessed life? You know, those people who don't have a long list of things that they are thankful for?

The people who are alone.
The people who have lost the one person they loved.
The people who have no home. Maybe they've been pushed out. Or had it taken away.
The people who don't have a dime.
And those who have bills piling up, but aren't sure how they'll get paid.
The people who are not healthy and are not sure if they ever will be.
And the people who are just down on their luck and can't seem to get a break.

What is Thanksgiving for them?

When I look at my long Thanksgiving list, the reality is that everything is circumstantial. Everything could change, turn on a dime. It could all be gone tomorrow.

And would I still have Thanksgiving?

Here's my thought -- if Thanksgiving is going to continue year after year, and I don't mean just the holiday, but the true offering of gratitude, it can't be based on a circumstantial list of things I love. It has to come from a different place. It has to be based on something un-changing that won't come and go from the list. It has to be based on who we are, and even more so, on who God is. It has to be a whole-hearted Thanks-giving for life and for God's love. It has to be Thanks-being.

And if we celebrate Thanks-being instead of Thanks-giving, we will never find ourselves at a loss. We will always be able to be thankful and realize that we are blessed. Regardless of how many things are on, or not on, our list.

Certainly celebrate the ways you're blessed. Not just on the marked holiday, but every single day. Just don't judge your blessed-ness on the length of that list. God is near and has given us life. He regarded us enough to call us into being and call us by name.

And to me, that is enough.

1 comment:

  1. I love this, Christie! I'm going to link to this from my blog! :)