With the Thanksgiving holiday nearing, I’m sure your mind is doing that familiar introspection thing that almost always leads to taking inventory of all the things you are thankful for this year. This season is a time when we pay attention to the simple acts of kindness bestowed upon us — whether deserved or undeserved. I’m there, and trust me, it most often brings laughter, but it always brings tears. It’s not necessarily the “ugly cry” type of tears, but more the “I’m touched and moved” type. Somehow, this time of year seems to bring out the best and worst in us all.
I remember a Thanksgiving week several years back when I got into a minor car accident on I-85 southbound while I was driving to my office in downtown Atlanta. I was rear ended and, thankfully, I was not hurt badly. But before the accident, I remember there being a strange smell in my car that I could not figure out. When the tow truck came to get my car, I gathered my personal items, and to my surprise, there was a 20-pound turkey decomposing in what was left of the trunk. I gagged my way to the tow trunk, dumbfounded and confused as to how that got in there. Later that day, my brother-in-law told me that the church had sent me a turkey as a gift. Apparently, they had put it in the trunk of my car and forgot to tell me. Ayayay!
After receiving the police report, I realized something interesting. Thanks to that turkey, my side of the vehicle was not impacted as hard as it would have been otherwise. It’s silly, right? But that whole situation had me pondering about goodness, kindness, providence, and stupidity all at once. And what is life, if not a number of unexplainable happenings that either break our hearts or mend them. We certainly have much to be thankful for.
I want to encourage us all to reach out, to serve, and to love whether is received well or not. Find the good that is hidden amongst the ugliness we see on a daily basis. This holiday was never meant for families to grow apart, for neighbors to hate each other, or for brothers and sisters to find more reasons to fight with one another. It is meant to bring us together in the midst of our differences, opinions, beliefs, and personal biases. Being grateful is not a complicated affair. It is a choice we make to find beauty in the mess and to follow the golden rule which reminds us, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…” (Matthew 7:12)
Today, I am grateful for my life journey. I am grateful for loved ones, for you who take the time to read my posts, and for the strange ways that grace still chooses to redeem us all. I’m sure you will have memories of past Thanksgivings this week — perhaps some amusing and satisfying, and others troublesome and painful. How about making new ones? I challenge us all to make the most wonder-filled memories this year.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!