Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Attitude of Gratitude

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What's not to like about Thanksgiving? The women do all the work, and the men just sit around and eat. This has been the tradition in my family since my grandparents, who lived right across the street from us, invited us over for the big holiday meal.

With great appreciation I want to acknowledge the women in my family who like having everyone around their tables to enjoy the fruits of their labor of love. I am the recipient of the joy of cooking the many family recipes that left the house smelling delicious even before getting to the table. But why should this period of the celebration of life be confined to November? Just because in 1941 at Franklin Roosevelt's suggestion Congress finally recognized this as an official day to celebrate, should this constrain the wonderful feeling of thankfulness by putting it into a few days before December? The awareness of being blessed by life itself should permeate every minute of our existence. It shouldn't be necessary for the clergy to have to point out to us that we need to do some introspection to evaluate our exalted position in this world.

The admonition to count our blessings would be redundant if we had a blessing meter inside us ticking them off like that big billboard-sized counter in New York with the red numbers that continually paces off the national debt. Like it, our numbers would be in the trillions mounting up more and more as we age.

I know that for one I've been smiled upon in many ways. Some may call it fate or good luck, while others think of it as divine destiny - a gift from the Creator's hand. The good favor of the world or nature blesses me with wonderful health, a close family, supportive friends, a caring community and a free country.

To put good health in perspective, the gratitude meter in our mind can be put into motion by a trip to the nursing home. So many there are even younger and have such great loneliness, many with horrendous physical disabilities.

Good fortune awareness can be activated by a drive a little bit out of our way down the road to the "other side of the track" or by volunteering to deliver meals in one of our charity programs.

My prayer is that this season of plenty will reset our minds from a feeling of "wants" to an awareness of our many blessings, one that will be a continual reminder of our place in providence.

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