Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that I both love and wonder about. While I am not so thankful that we displaced the culture of a great people to acquire this land, it is a time to be reminded of the grace we receive daily.
Whilst I don't want to sound preachy, I do want to take a second to be thankful for the many gifts I receive. There are so many things to be thankful for, and I am not sure any list can be complete, but it is important to reflect on those things which we are truly thankful for in our lives.
I try to be thankful on a daily basis for the many blessings that come my way. These blessings include my family, friends, coworkers, collaborators, etc. These blessings include shelter, food, gas money, and other worldly goods. These blessings include music, art, poetry, literature, and drama.
Of the many blessings, I consider the blessings of the spirit the most compelling. As a Christian, I believe these blessings come from God through the life and death of Christ. So, I am eternally thankful for that grace which, I believe, saves us and the mercy that allows everyone to come to his or her own convictions and conclusions.
Humility is another gift that is truly amazing. There are people who are truly humble, and I hope - each and every day - to be like them. So, I strive, daily, to work toward humility. It's funny that not all people value humility - in general or their own (or, in a few cases, my attempts). We are supposed to run around championing our successes, right? I would argue that our successes champion themselves, and there is no need to run about calling from roof tops. In any event, no success is singular; they are always crafted by many hands. So, if pride should exist, it should be shared.
The spirit of giving is another incredible gift...the ability to give and not to take. The homeless of Washington could give nothing back for the meals they received; some could not even speak to offer a shy thank you. But, to give the food with a spirit of love and not expecting a thing in return was more valuable than any object. Serving others allows us to remember that we are only a short space away from being in the line, and we have every obligation to be thankful for the distance.
As we move toward Thanksgiving and the holidays, may we all be blessed with the gifts of humility and sharing.
Here is wonderful video from one of my favorite bands - the Trans Siberian Orchestra