Thanksgiving Attitude: Grumpy or Grateful?

Last Thursday Terry and I left our home in Georgetown and spent the next five days at a series of conferences in Houston. All three gatherings we attended were inspirational and productive. It’s always good to be in the presence of fellow Christians, friends, and colleagues.

The downside of trips like this one is the drudgery of staying in hotels. For four nights. Some like to get away from home and go to a hotel. Perhaps because of our work related travel the past three decades, going to a hotel is not a mountaintop experience for us.

The quality of a hotel is often commensurate with the price of the room. Not so much on this trip. For example, one of our fairly high quality hotels had the following deficiencies:

  • The bathroom sink didn’t drain
  • There was no hair dryer in the room
  • It took forever for cold water to get hot
  • The TV remote was not functioning properly
  • The bathroom electrical outlet was poorly placed

The last morning away from home I was grousing about three of the items listed above. Then it struck me. Here I am in a safe and secure hotel room fussing about inconveniences, while many people in our country and throughout the world are sleeping on the street, in the cold, having no job or steady income, not knowing where their next meal might come from, not having had a bath or shower in days or weeks, having very little to which to look forward except a turkey meal at a homeless shelter.

That realization included the recognition of how prone I am to expect everything to be right and how little I ponder the plight of people who don’t even have most of the stuff about which I complain. Too often I’m grumpy about things and not grateful for the bountiful blessings of life.

On this Thanksgiving Eve, Terry and I extend to each of you our heartfelt love and gratitude for your friendship and, especially, for God’s grace in our lives and yours.

I pledge to work on mitigating my grumpiness and multiplying my gratitude! I’ll need your prayers!

Thanksgiving

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Today I share with you this story (http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/thanksgiving/short-stories/religious-thanksgiving.html):

Thanksgiving by Bruce Wright

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? I hear one boy say, “It means a big dinner.” I think we all agree with him. Who does not welcome and enjoy a good dinner! I hear Mary say, “Thanksgiving means a day off from school.” I guess you are right too. School is not such a charming place that girls and boys are unwilling to have an occasional holiday.

Now I am going to ask some of the older people what the day means to them. There is a young woman, a stenographer. She says, “Thanksgiving means a day away from the office. I’m at the office every day except Sunday, and I do appreciate, now and then, a day that’s really my own.”

Yonder is a traveling salesman. “What does Thanksgiving mean to you?” He says, “It means a day at home. Last year I spent one hundred and sixty-nine nights away from home. I have three children. I should like to see them every day. There are times when many days pass and I do not see them. Thanksgiving week I plan to be at home.”

There are others I could ask. Each has his or her answer. But Thanksgiving has a special meaning for us. It is the harvest time. I have here an apple. Isn’t this a beautiful apple? What color! Who mixed the paints, who handled the brush to give such color to this apple? God. He, in his infinite love and wisdom, has provided, through the unfailing laws of nature, for the growth, sweetness, coloring and beautifying of all the products of the fields. This apple is but one of many kinds of fruits.

Praise, then, is the great meaning of Thanksgiving. God, our heavenly Father, sends us every good gift. From his bountiful hand come our daily and nightly mercies. We should praise him every day. But the day for the united chorus of praise is Thanksgiving.

Psalm 150: 6: “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.”

Hymn 892 (Lutheran Service Book):

Come, ye thankful people, come; raise the song of harvest home.
All be safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God, our maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied.
Come to God’s own temple, come; raise the song of harvest home.

Terry and I pray for each of you a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Some of God’s Greatest Gifts

Child 1This past week I saw a Facebook posting of a little child who was able to hear for the first time in her life. While I don’t recall all the details and tried in vain to find the posting again, what I do recall is that this little child initially cried when the hearing instrument was put in place. Soon thereafter her tears were replaced with a series of smiles at hearing her first sounds. Priceless!

Throughout my life I’ve been guilty of taking for granted the God-given senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. I’ve never experienced what life is like without them and the older I get the more aware I am of the blessings they bring. I’ve also become more keenly aware of the challenges faced by people who are either born without all of these senses or who lose one or more through illness or injury.

So if you, like I, have been blessed with all five senses and if all of them are still working, count your blessings and be sensitive to what life is like for anyone who is not so blessed. If you are without the ability to see, to hear, to smell, to taste or to touch, thank God for the senses you do have. And be assured that many of us have special respect and admiration for your determination to live life without all of these five senses, some of God’s greatest gifts.