So, this growing need to express gratitude hit me again, big time, today. It is, after all, Thanksgiving Eve. I was taking a hot shower and there in all my naked glory (OK, maybe glory is an overstatement) it struck me how blessed I was just to be standing under a running shower head. There I was enjoying clean, hot water washing over me for as long as I wanted, and wondering how many millions of people around the world were not, and would not for who knows when, if ever. I mean, is it possible that there are people out there that have never been able to take a hot shower?? Is it possible of the 7 billion humans on earth, there are thousands, tens of thousands – maybe even millions of souls nowhere near a hot shower?
Now, it wasn’t till about three years ago we began giving thanks (or saying grace) regularly before dinner. Before that we would do it more off and on, depending if we remembered or had guests over or, of course, if it was Thanksgiving. But now it has become automatic. (Not robotic, but customary.) I’m not sure how that happened; maybe it was Ellie prompting me before she finished putting the meal on the table? Or perhaps, as down-sizers, we have a little more time to acknowledge our many blessings? Maybe it’s simply our Christian faith finally taking hold and manifesting itself in clasped hands and bowed heads. But regardless, if you have a faith, if you have a belief in a Creator God, or if you are not even sure there is a God, you do have something to be thankful for – right? Today, for me, it was a hot shower.
And, if you agree that you too have some things for which to be grateful, consider it a moment more and take that time to focus on all of the alternative lives you could be living – in Ethiopia, in Sudan, in Iraq, in Syria. Consider even further that your fate could be a lot more drastic than wondering when your next hot shower was coming. Consider again how blessed you are, and come back to your present reality and join me in considering something that I later found a little troubling today in the shower. What am I doing with this relative abundance of blessings? To be able to eat whenever I want, drink cool clean water from one of several faucets in my home, to shower at will? How have I leveraged these countless blessings to the betterment of those less fortunate?
Tough question – and one that only we as individuals can answer to ourselves. It’s prompted me to consider how I use these many blessings of time and resources I have been afforded. It’s a question I will be asking myself as we head into Thanksgiving. So, I hope that you will join me in considering our blessings and how we might parlay them into blessings for others. Think about it, maybe the next time you take a hot shower, or have a meal with a roof over your head, or climb into a warm bed…and then do something good for someone who can use a little good. I have found that once I begin to think this way, God presents the opportunities. Give thanks by giving……..thanks.