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The Day After Thanksgiving

“O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”  Ps. 30.12

Of course we all go through challenging seasons, and seasons when we might feel a little depressed, or things aren’t turning out quite the way we thought or not at all the way we hoped or wanted.  It’s too easy in those seasons to start feeling a bit sorry for ourselves, or envious of others, and just, well, in a funk.

I’m grateful for the amount I’ve been able to travel overseas in the majority world, or for that matter our own inner-cities.  It enables a quick reminder to me that, when I step back, no matter how hard things are in a season, still I have so much to be thankful for that I shouldn’t (and try not to) take for granted.

Just a short list…food to eat, and safe food to eat.  Clean drinking water.  Emergency rooms at good hospitals.  Freedom to worship Jesus Christ without real threat of danger.  Good roads, and laws that make them more safe to drive on.  The freedom to cast a vote that matters.  I didn’t choose any of these things, they come from where I simply live.

These are material things, and there’s so much to thankful for spiritually, and these are the things that actually matter!  Salvation, forgiveness of sins, the presence of Jesus with me, the love of God, the Eucharist, meaningful purpose by advancing the Kingdom of God in the world, and community to do it with. 

I find that in harder seasons, gratitude for what I do have with thanksgiving to God goes along way in reorienting my soul in the direction of peace and joy.

When I step back…“O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”