Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:3-5 NIV
It’s that time again…the doldrums days when the brilliant vibrant colors of autumn have been replaced by the brown/gray hue of late fall. It is the time when there is not only frost on the pumpkin but the pumpkin is sagging and rotting from decay. This is also a season of ultimate confusion as you hear a cacophony of Christmas jingles and carols on the air waves and cable before anyone can even gather to gather in a spirit of Thanksgiving. And in the middle of this precursor mix of holiday turmoil sits my birthday ready and anxious to scream in my ear yet once again “hey, Buddy, you are getting older”!
As if it couldn’t get any more rich, I just happen to share my birthday with the remembrance of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I remember it was my sixth birthday and mom was having a very difficult time preparing my birthday cake. I knew something pretty ominous had just occurred but in my very infantile six year old mind I was thinking, “Uh, hello? Birthday boy here…remember me…uh, can’t have a celebration without a cake…hello? Hey, you can’t be crying on MY day…Hello?”
And so the news worthy reminder of a tragedy to our country and to our nation’s innocence, of a lost Camelot was ceremoniously delivered year after year by the talking heads of the times. Fifty-two years later, there may be a blurb on the web concerning the event but it has all but been tucked away in the annals of history. For indeed, time eventually heals all wounds and the pain and guilt associated with any horrific event is ultimately numbed and silenced by the passing of time. Fortunately, I have matured over the years and what was once a ghost or shadow haunting “my day” each year, has turned into a reminder of thankfulness.
- I am first of all thankful for this journey God has placed before me and am excited for each day I have to walk along the paths He has laid out for me.
- I am thankful for God granting me the privilege of living in this great world of ours for the past fifty-eight years; I’ll take ”seasoned” over “deceased” any day…
- I am thankful for my family around me and the opportunity to positively influence the young life of our granddaughter as she grows and matures.
- I am thankful to have been raised in a home that displayed not only an undying love for each family member but also taught the importance of knowing there were circumstances much bigger and at times more significant than our own wants or needs.
- I am thankful for our freedoms in this great country of ours and try not to take any of them for granted.
I could go on and on about being thankful but here is something we must be reminded; we must always be in a spirit of thanksgiving all year through, not just during one day on the calendar. We must thank God for everything He provides for us in the everyday, workaday world we live in, whether it be something big or insignificant. For God deserves our praise in all things, not just the extraordinary.
So I encourage anyone reading this to please take the time, examine your heart and find those pearls of life events and God given life opportunities to be thankful for today and every day throughout the year, not just the season of “We Gather to Gather to Jingle All the Way in the Auld Lang Syne”. As for me, this six-year- old times ten shy two is going to continue to praise God for His goodness and enjoy the big slice of life He has handed me…along with a big slice of birthday cake as well…compliments of my wife!!