One of our family thanksgiving traditions involves a walk in the woods or across the fields. The youngest among us collects red, gold, and oaken brown leaves to decorate the dining room table.
As I walk, I consciously collect reasons for giving thanks. I am thankful for:
• sight – God’s world glowing with the colors of autumn. I am surrounded by beauty.
• sound – birds’ songs, squirrel chatter, laughter and words – entangle to create the music of life.
• Family – My youngest granddaughter slips on the muddy path. She holds up her hand, slimy with mud and giggles. Her big brother groans. I smile. Love fills my soul.
• Freedom – to live in this wonderful country where we can speak our minds, go to worship, attend school, get medical care without fear. As Canadians we are blessed.
My son speaks about a friend who has cancer, and my mind shifts to the grief and pain that comes from illness and death. What would I do if one of these who are with me, had cancer? I shiver with the darkness that enshrouds my mind. Because I love them, I feel this pain. Yet nothing could induce me to trade the joy of their presence in my life for the absence of that pain. Yes, I can give thanks even in the midst of sickness and death.
My minister identified these thoughts and feelings as “thanks living” I encourage you to try “thanks living” not just for one weekend but every day all year. Search out the goodness in the midst of the trials and the joys of life and give thanks.
As St. Paul says in his first letter to the Thessalonians , “Be joyful always: pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 .