No matter how you slice it. giving thanks may be THE most important discipline and decision in any of our lives.. today and tomorrow.
Yeah, I get it. Who of us can't quickly and easily enumerate what's wrong with things the way they are particularly visionary types who see what can, should and must be?
Simply put, things aren't "there yet." The news reminds us ---- and plenty more closer to home issues.
Yet, today's holiday founded by a group of dreamers who came to a new land, decimated in number by disease, starvation and winter without adequate shelter.. calls us to something much, much better. Appreciation. Thanking. Remembering all we DO have.
Instead of giving up, turning back, destroying their vision of a land of freedom and hope, these Mayflower refugees not only stuck it out - they stayed AND they gave God thanks.
No one quote has struck me more in the past few weeks than hearing Tony Robbins say,
Wow! Expectations for more... for justice... for relationships without the pain... for financial certainty.. for healthy bodies... for children who succeed... for happiness in our work....
TRADE.. Exchange the gut feel to complain, fret and feel let down... Instead, decide to do as the Bible commands us in the strongest possible language: "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (I Thessalonians 5:18)
Maybe we need to hear "in all circumstances" because there's magic to giving thanks in the ones that plague us the most. Where we ache. Where we struggle.
Instead of the "first thanksgiving" being initiated by from those who's lives were easy, wealthy, healthy it emerged from those who's lost practically everything to turn a vision and dream into a reality by coming to a new land. Leaving behind possessions, parents, the familiar and the comforts of "home."
They were Pilgrims, outcasts, dreamers who experienced almost unbearable storms on their voyage, beastly cold, disease and death as almost half of them died during the first winter where 12 of 14 of the adult women died.... 50 of 100 total ... dead.
Instead of caving in and turning back, these people traded their expectations for appreciation and began realizing what an incredible land God brought them to.... a land filled with potential and opportunity. A land with the potential for freedom and not oppression... a land that could still grow food in fertile soil.
Of course, like us, they made mistakes but today, we get to do one thing they did so right. They took time to stop... to reflect... to celebrate...
All we have
What we've come through
A God that cares and comforts us in our pain and loss
A reminder that SO, SO many things are incredible.
Blessed and not cursed. Loved and not lost. Free and not in bondage.
When we trade our expectations for appreciation, our whole lives become miracles!
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