Thanksgiving Prayer 2015
The Thanksgiving Tradition means different things to different people. For some, it marks a time to be with family and friends (and eat!!). For others, it might signal a fall vacation retreat. For me, it signals a time to reflect on the gift of life. You see, the act of giving thanks is a highly spiritual and human act. The words “Thanks and Giving” become an act of giving thanks because of a deep feeling of gratefulness. It wells up from within. Why do we give thanks? Why do we say thank you? Because something happened to us that we perceived as a gift. Because someone did something for us.
- The person opening a door for you.
- A spouse cooking dinner.
- A son or daughter saying “I love you” without us telling them to!
- A manager specifically telling you how you did a great job
- Receiving a call or message from a friend when you were feeling down
- Getting a great customer review
- The sales manager working several deals with you and making it happen
- A tech giving another tech work (I distinctly remember a tech hollering over to another team saying, “Here, we got some extra work…take it!)
- A mother or father having major medical complications but pulling through
In some ways, these experiences compel us to be grateful and say thanks. We experience something within that moves us to say “Thank You”. We perceive mom or dad pulling through surgery as a gift, and one that we will gladly receive and be joyful about. We are literally moved within to be grateful.
There is also ambiguity in this world and for many, including our Parisian brothers and sisters, there has been trauma, pain, and loss. We have experienced little and great losses this year. I have personally been involved with 17 incidents of an employee losing a loved one this year. 17! There have been hospital visits, pastoral care sessions due to loss of different sorts. Some of us have felt battered by the waves (of):
- losing a loved one
- not making a deal
- not producing as much as you’re used to
- decisions that we have doubted
- mistakes made
- personal losses of many sorts
But that is not the final chapter to the Great and Large Story. Even Paris, during this trying time, is summoning the good within with their motto: “battered by the waves, but never capsized”
YOU AND I ARE NOT CAPSIZED!
Our boat is still afloat, trying to make its way home.
I urge you to be thankful for the gift of inner strength, for courage, for hope. I encourage you to rightly perceive how you have been gifted this year. In my faith tradition, we acknowledge that there is a Great Giver who loves us and is for us. Today, and for the whole of life, let us give thanks for the gifts we’ve received.
We offer thanksgiving today not because we have to or because the holiday tells us we should. No! We offer thanksgiving because we are compelled to. Something within us moves us to perceive what has happened to us as a gift. We gratefully see all good things as a gift and we ask for the assistance to lovingly receive the gifts. We receive hope, joy, strength, and courage.
We thank you for our loved ones that believe in us.
We thank you for the work we’re able to participate in.
We thank you for our sons and daughters who will be the next generation of world-changers and history-makers.
We thank you for the kind words of love and affirmation we have received this year.
We thank you for the little things like rain, the color blue, printers that work, broken cars that we can fix, loyal customers, service advisor swag, and coffee. Thank you for coffee!
We ask for your blessing over our dinner gatherings this week and pray for laughter and joy to permeate our homes. Amen.