Wednesday Word: Thank You

Thank you.

What are you thankful for? I would imagine you are thankful for family and friends, a place to call home, health, food to put on the table, and any number of other things.

But as the holiday season begins in earnest with Thanksgiving tomorrow, there also comes stress. The stress of travel, either far or near. The stress of serving meals for more than the usual crowd. Some people experience the stress of extended families.

This past Sunday I attended the annual HARC Thanksgiving service, held this time at John Wesley UMC. Buddhist monk Temm Bikle offered opening remarks. During his time, he said that Buddhists give thanks for everything, not only the good stuff but also the bad. And then he began a litany of sorts of what he/we were thankful for.

We are thankful for gun violence. We are thankful for the opioid epidemic. We are thankful for global warming. We are thankful for racism. We are thankful for these things, he said, because they are reminders of the opportunities we have to work for a better world. We have the opportunity to help control gun violence. We have the opportunity to help reduce dependence on opioids. We have the opportunity to care for God's creation. We have the opportunity to reflect what it looks like when all people are treated with dignity and respect.

We have many things for which to be thankful; both good and bad. And, as Temm reminded us last Sunday, if we are only thankful for the good things, we miss the opportunity to help create a better world.

This Thanksgiving, may you be thankful for all that is around you – from travel issues to burnt stuffing to weird uncles to new babies to seeing old friends and everything in between.

As we begin the holiday season in earnest, what are you thankful for?

Me? I'm thankful for this place and everyone who makes it what it is.



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