It’s easy to bellyache. It’s simple to want things I don’t need and to wish for things I don’t have. Those dissatisfactions lead to things that aren’t so simple, however. In the long run, it’s easier and less stressful to just to be thankful for the things I have and accept the things life gives me.
No matter how things are going in my life, I can always look around and see people who have so much more need and difficulty than I have, folks who would gladly trade places with me, who might look at me and all the benefit in life and say something like “If I had everything that guy has, it would surely be enough.”
It would be easy for me to be bitter that we can’t be with my mom and siblings today, but I’ll just be thankful that, while we can’t be together, we’re all healthy and we love each other.
For me, to want more than I have, to want things I don’t need, is to disrespect those who have less.
I can’t hear Becky talk about the children in the school system who depend on the district’s meals programs to receive close to enough food or who don’t have sufficient clothing and want things I don’t need and want things I don’t need.
I can’t hear people’s stories of difficulty and hardship and think of how much easier my life would be if I had things differently.
I can’t note all of the people struggling with the trappings of this pandemic, not just the sickness and dying, but people who still aren’t getting to work even though their expanded unemployment and the safety nets from landlords and mortgage companies and utility companies have ended and complain for a minute about how things are going for me and my family.
We went to sleep in a warm house and healthy. We had the means to go to stores and purchase all of the trappings of a good Thanksgiving dinner. We have warm clothes, cars to get us where we need to go, and all the technological equipment to help us navigate the 21st Century world.
And we have each other, our faith, and the freedom to worship how we choose. We are so very blessed.
It would be disrespectful to God for me to ask for anything else, so I’ll just thank Him for providing for us, and, hopefully I’ll keep it in my mind to do that every day, not just this day set aside for it.
If I start wanting things I don’t need, I’ll just kiss my wife or hug my kids, and I’ll remind myself how much I have to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I pray that all of you have everything you need today. Love and prayers from up on the hill.