Since it’s Thanksgiving in the US today, I just thought I would express thanks for certain things in my life. For me, personally, there is so much to be thankful for. One thing that blows me away and humbles me and makes me aware of a picture of existence larger than my own is the fact that out of the millions and millions of people here on earth, I was born into a civilization that is the most privileged and technologically advanced and also respects a large degree of personal expression. I know that the US in particular, but most of “the West” in general, has made major mistakes that have severely impacted the rest of the world, but I think I stand alongside with most britons (in a recent survey) and believe that, for the most part, America is a force for good in this world. I am thankful for the country I live in.
One thing I have become increasingly aware of and thankful for this year has been the communities God has given me. My family is so loving and so generous; I am so thankful for them, I don’t even know how to fully express it in words. My spiritual family also, particularly my closer-knit community of friends from church, is a community for which no amount of words could do justice. You guys, if any of you read this, I just want you to know that each of you are a blessing to me and my heart is overwhelmed when I think of you and your individual significances to me in my life. I hope I never lose sight of how important you and the larger church community are for me, for everyone. If I ever stop seeing that as important for me in my life, please remind me that it is truly, eternally, important.
I also want to express gratitude for the situation in which I find God has placed me. This is significant for me, because I am now realizing that I rarely, if ever, stop and just thank God for the way my life has gone so far. God’s providential love for me is so evident when I look back upon my life. I usually miss that in the midst of everything, stressing out, too busy, too tired, whatever. My job, in particular, is something I need to be grateful for. There is so much drama and daily routine stress that I simply forget how privileged I am to be able to serve kids at a very formative stage and to help them become people with whom God is pleased. That is such an awesome gift.
I also want to express profound thanks for my diaspora of friends I have made over the years. I love you all so much and it hurts to not be able to see you every day or even every month, as was the case at some point or other in my life. Thank you for what you have taught me and the friendship you have given me. You make up a significant part of who I am today and who I will become.
For all these things and others I am thankful to God. If you can look back at all the good things in your life, you can see, maybe not on a rational or cognitive level, but on a spiritual or heart level, that God truly is good and does indeed lavish us with gifts too many to count. Hallelujah!
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
How great are your works, O LORD!
Your thoughts are very deep!
The dullard cannot know,
the stupid cannot understand this:
though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever,
but you, O LORD, are on high forever.
For your enemies, O LORD,
for your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered.
But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
you have poured over me fresh oil.
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the LORD;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
In old age they still produce fruit;
they are always green and full of sap,
showing that the LORD is upright;
he is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in him.