Thanksgiving Every Day

by | Nov 23, 2015 | 1 Poor in Spirit

IMAGE_041Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).
Before you buy the turkey and put it in the oven, before you prepare the house for guests or the car for the long drive to visit family, or before you slump into sadness if you face Thanksgiving alone, let me remind you that today, too, is Thanksgiving. Every day is Thanksgiving for those who wake and watch and keep a trusting expectancy of blessings. You need not – indeed you should not — wait for the formal occasion.
Yes, this takes deliberate intention and discipline. The human brain is nothing if not a problem-seeking and solving organ, and it performs that function well. How else could such a physically vulnerable species not only survive nature’s devouring and indifferent powers but master them, if not entirely, much more than any other species? Yet, we pay a price for that skill because the brain that seeks out problems so ingeniously overlooks blessings in the process. We keep the tiger at bay, but in our vigilance, we forget to smell the roses.
And what is survival worth if we don’t smell the roses, admire our beloved, taste the food, laugh with the children, trace the boundaries of the sky with our imaginations, or breathe the fresh air of the present moment? What is the point of all our planning and scheming for financial security, politicking and gunning for adherence to our “no trespassing” signs, and theologizing and making scruples for eternal fire insurance if we do not notice the tiniest hazelnut or the pervasive gift of being itself and fall on our knees in wonder and gratitude?
Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who come before God in that wonder and gratitude, knowing they are poor except for the gratuitous blessings that overwhelm them with delight. Blessed are the beggars, the children, the ones who ask and receive anyway because they bet that kindness lies at the heart of things, love more essential than the indifference of nature and the cruelty of human powers. Today and every day, they celebrate Thanksgiving. Join them.

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