Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How thankful are you?

I have always been fascinated watching people. The way they live their lives, they way they interact with others, what makes them tick. At times it seems many people are caught up in a endless loop. They live their lives on a sort of cruise control. Get up, go to work, come home, dinner with the family, watch a little TV, go to bed, then repeat the process tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, my life is not a series of adventures taken from an action packed movie script. In fact, it is about as plain vanilla as you can get. If my life were a reality TV show, it would be canceled.

So am I caught up in the endless loop I spoke of earlier? Not a chance.

While my life is pretty sedate, I would like to think it is vibrant and full. Why? Two things, my faith and my family.

I am not sure how I would cope without my faith in the Lord. In my younger days, when I was sure I knew everything, I walked away from my faith and experienced some painful results. One thing I am sure of now, through good times and bad times, God is always there, he does not move. We are always the ones who move away from Him and our relationship becomes more distant. Through those painful experiences, I began to move closer to God. It has been a blessing in more ways than I can count.

As much as my faith grounds me, the one thing that gives me more joy than anything in this world is my family. My wife and I have been married for 20 years and our two children are truly gifts from God. Even when they are in the process of driving me crazy, I love them to pieces. My mother and sister are far away but I see them occasionally and my grandmother is still going strong at 91. I have also been blessed with a great extended family.

With all the blessings in my live, it would be foolish to take them for granted. It would be foolish to not spend as much time with my children as I could. It would be foolish not to tell, or even worse, not to show my wife how much I love her everyday. It would be foolish to ignore God when things seem to be going fine. It would be foolish to slowly drift away from my daily walk with God. It would be foolish indeed.

Well folks, you are looking at a fool.

My family is healthy, and I would like to think, relatively happy. How many families in our community are going through a medical or a family crisis right now? Our marriage, while far from perfect, is going great. How many marriages in our community are breaking apart right now? My relationship with the Lord is as strong as it has ever been, but let me assure you I am still a pretty poor excuse for a Christian.

My point is it would be easy to turn on the cruise control and just motor along for the next few years and the next few decades until I wake up in a hospital bed, ready to meet my maker. What kind of life would that be? What a waste of all the blessings poured out on me, to take them for granted and not to stop and celebrate each and every one of them. We don't know how long that road will be for us. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.

This Thanksgiving Day, I am truly thankful to God for all his blessings, and for the trials that made me grow and learn to lean on Him when times get tough. How about You?


Glenn Haffner said...
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Eric said...

Thanks for the thoughtful and inspiring post. I think I share many of your thoughts here. I too find my life incredibly enriched by my faith and my family. I appreciated your honest thoughts. I think we are just about on the same page neighbor!