Jumping in the thanksgiving cornucopia of thoughts, some were particularly poignant and worthy of repeating here.
Fr. Stephen Freeman’s thoughts about his father-in-law’s unfailing life-long witness about God’s goodness struck a chord. This has been a struggle for me – to believe that God is good all the time and all the time God is good – and then to act that way in response to, and to look for it in, every event in my life. My mother’s death, my continual year long battle with back pain, recent surgery, struggles at church, quitting my job, etc. For me it has manifested itself in deciding to not respond as a victim when victimized. Someone may perpetrate an evil action against me and I may be victimized but that does not mean I need to respond as a victim. It is a subtle difference and has taken a lot of thought and effort to see and change. It has shown me how to “forgive those who trespass against us.” This new learning is a point of thanks for me.
Piggybacking on the above, Fr. Oliver at Frontier Orthodoxy wrote, “There is more to Thanksgiving than Precious Moments figurines and stuffing and mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving, if it is to mean anything, has to include, at its heart, an embrace of the dirt, and the mud, and blood, and the beer of life.” I believe by embracing the dirt one can learn to see God’s goodness no matter the situation. Though I would take issue with Fr. Oliver’s need for country music to complete the scene. :o)
One of the prayers from the “Glory to God For All Things” akathist says, “Life-giving and merciful Trinity, receive my thanksgiving for all Thy goodness. Make us worthy of Thy blessings, so that, when we have brought to fruit the talents Thou hast entrusted to us, we may enter into the joy of our Lord, forever exulting in the shout of victory: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! (thrice)” I shared this with the hubster because for him, today, this is appropriate. The fruit of his God-given talents which he has faithfully worked to ripen has brought him to the position of Chief Development Office for a state college which he will start December 6. And he was asked to co-chair a joint district conference in 2012.
Many things to be thankful for – ice packs for the back included! Off to grab one and check the turkey!
To you, blog friends, may this thanksgiving day be one that is more than saying thanks for that which we perceive as ‘good’. May it be one of saying thanks for that which we perceive as ‘not so good’ too.