Today is Thanksgiving. And while on the surface that may mean turkey, football, and parades, it should and does mean a whole lot more. Some form of Thanksgiving, even before the Pilgrims, was observed as early as the 16th century in various parts of the world as a way to thank God for the many blessings He bestows. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it’d be a bad idea if we could steer things back in that direction. However, it’s not my intention to pontificate on the failures and foibles of our 21st century secular, anything goes, if it feels good do it society…atleast not today. My present purpose is to express my heartfelt thanks for all the positive things in my life.
I am thankful for a pretty fantastic family that I can always count on. My Mom left us 9 years ago, but I still have my Dad, my sister, 1 living grandparent, and two nephews, as well as assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’m very fortunate.
I am thankful for my job. I’ve been jobless, I’ve had good jobs, I’ve had bad jobs, I’ve been fired…I’ve seen it all. With an economy that seems more and more headed toward socialism and no new jobs being created I am happy that I have a job that I like. It doesn’t pay enough (really though, what job does?) and as with anything there are occasional bumps in the road, but all in all it’s pretty okay.
I am thankful for my friends. I don’t use the term “friend” flippantly. Most of us have an assortment of acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, church folk, and classmates…but how many true friends do we really have?? I have been blessed with several people in my life that I know are there when I need them and I can only hope they feel the same way about me. So thanks to Greg, who always makes me look at things from a new and unique perspective…The Owl, who always makes me think…and Slack, who always makes me laugh. There are others, but I don’t want to dive too deep and unintentionally leave someone out.
I am thankful for my church. Sunday mornings (and sometimes into the afternoon if the preacher is really in fine form) are a necessary refuge, a home base that reminds me of what’s really important. Wednesday night Bible study is a much needed mid-week pit stop. Our men’s group is small but mighty. I’ll never understand why more people don’t feel the urge to participate, but to the guys I know I can count on…Rod, Bart, Steve R., Steve H….and to the ladies who help us out so much even though they aren’t men and are therefore under no obligation…Sandie, Becky, Patricia, Bonnie…thank you doesn’t seem to really be big enough.
I am thankful for Facebook. I know that sounds silly and frivolous, and to a degree it is. But you know what…life doesn’t always need to be serious. Sometimes we need to loosen up and have fun. Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with a lot of old pals from grade school, high school, former places of employment, and especially college. It has provided me numerous hours of mindless entertainment, and I’m okay with that. So thank you to my little Facebook family…Becky, Heather, Tony V., Julia, Noelle, Vicki, Erin, FunDorkO, Deidra, Denny, and probably a few I am forgetting…for making this wonderful, crazy concept called Facebook even more wonderful and crazy.
I am thankful for my puppy. Even though he peed in my bed yesterday forcing me to trash a pillow, and even though he aggravates the living crap out of me sometimes, he’s still pretty cool. Thanks Rocco…Daddy loves you (and yes, I’m aware he’s a dog and therefore cannot read).
Speaking of frivolity, I am thankful to be a diehard sports fan and an unapologetic lover of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Marshall Thundering Herd, West Virginia Mountaineers, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Being a rather zealous sports fan can be infuriating, aggravating, frustrating, and rife with disappointment…but it can also be exhilarating, thrilling, and emotional. If we would channel some of the energy we spend on cheering on our teams into more meaningful activities what a wonderful world it would be. I am not an athlete, but I am an athletic supporter. You’ll notice I left out the Pittsburgh Pirates. There are limits.
I am thankful for good books and the ability to read them. I’ve been a bookworm for years and reading has provided me countless hours of pleasure and given me knowledge, both useful and useless. I am a Literacy Volunteer and very aware that there are way too many people out there who cannot read a street sign or a job application let alone Shakespeare or Dickens.
And finally, I am so very thankful for a loving but just God who loves me much more than I deserve and a Savior, Jesus Christ, who died to pay the price for my sins. Intellectually I cannot even wrap my head around it, so I let faith be my guide and just accept the free gift that I can never earn.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. Eat, drink, love, laugh, and be grateful for blessings large and small.