I am tired of being stuck at home.
I am thankful that I have a home.
I am sad that I cannot visit my family for Thanksgiving,
I am thankful that I have a loving family.
I am concerned that there will be a shut down while my belongings are on a moving truck.
I am thankful that I have what I need and a home to move to.
We have high expectations for our lives and especially for our traditional holidays. If we are honest this is probably not the first year that our expectations did not match the reality. Very few of us have the holidays that Norman Rockwell depicted in his famous paintings or we see on the Hallmark channel and often we feel the pressure to try and create that ‘perfect’ experience. Perhaps, this year we might be thankful that there are no such expectations. We might be thankful for the freedom to create a new experience/celebration. We might be thankful for our God-inspired creativity to play with a new approach.
One of the lessons my parents taught me was delayed gratification. It’s the process of resisting the temptation of an immediate reward to plan for/work toward a later reward. A savings account and/or retirement account is an example of delayed gratification; rather than spending all of our money when we get it, we put it away for a later date when we might not have extra funds. Education is delayed gratification; spending years to graduate with the degree needed for the work you want to do isn’t easy but the reward is worth it. Foregoing gathering with family for the holidays so that we keep those same people safe for future gatherings and celebrations is delayed gratification.
The scientists/doctors are clear. We should be cancelling plans that move us beyond our current bubbles. For those who have a bubble of one, it may be quite difficult, yet, the knowledge that we are protecting our loved ones, makes it much simpler.
This year as you are mindful for all you are thankful for, I encourage you to be thankful for the knowledge that we benefit from paying attention to the advice of those who know best how to deal with a pandemic where numbers of new cases are climbing.
I am thankful for the women of this church who continue to serve and reach out to God’s people far and wide and show God’s love in tangible, life-sustaining ways.
Thank you, God, from whom all blessings flow. Amen.
I am thankful.