Early Thanksgiving Thoughts

I used to joke (sort of) about how I could go wash my wife’s car and the first thing she would notice is the one small spot or streak I left on there. What is up with that? I get 97% of the car clean, and the 3% is what she feels compelled to point out? Ah…such is life, is it not? Funny how our faults and failures tend to define us.

What is it about human nature that tends to see what’s ‘wrong’ before we even recognize what might be ‘right’?

I heard this guy the other morning on a news show who just wrote a book called ‘living biblically for a year’ or something like that. He was/is an agnostic Jew who thought he would try and pattern his life, to every detail possible, to line up with the Old Testament teachings of the bible.

He claims that it did teach him a few things and that it was life changing, although I’m not quite sure to what extent.

But something he did say in the interview kind of settled in my head and I’ve been pondering over it. He did admit that if there was one thing that was awakened in him, it was this need to be more grateful. And it was this comment that stuck with me: “We tend to complain and gripe about the few things that go wrong in our life, without ever giving thought or thanks to all the things that go right in our life on a daily basis.”

Nothing really revolutionary about that…except when you try to apply it in real life.

I found myself running a bit late that morning and rushed out the door to get to the school and started on my bus route.

I was grumbling to myself for running late and feeling a bit irritated, not really sure who or what I was mad at. But then the thought occurred to me: “Hey…be thankful your Jeep started right up and you had no flat tires and the weather was good and there was no traffic to contend with.”

And so the moment I acknowledged that in my thought process, I sensed my irritation subside, almost immediately. It was kind of neat, really.

The next day, I heard from my mom that my brother’s lake home had been flooded out– Big Time! Apparently a pipe in the walls broke, and ran for who knows how long; flooding out the entire downstairs, ruining carpet, sheetrock, furniture cabinets, etc. Talk about a mess. And talk about an expensive repair job! My brother’s response? “Hey…I’m glad I didn’t get that phone call last week that it was my college son who burned up in that condo on the beach.” ( His oldest son attends the same university those kids who lost their lives do). And of course, his stand-by line for such situations, “You could have cancer” (He’s an oncologist and deals with that on a daily basis)

So there your go. Food for thought. I know better than anyone else that life is full of daily nuisances, irritations, and yes, even tragedy. But what about all those other things in life around you that Are going right? Have you taken the time to give thanks for all those? Do something different for a change…and try to focus on that!

Now, if I can just get my wife to be excited about the 97% of the car that was washed, or the 82% of the yard I did mow, or the 50% of the clothes of mine that I did pick up off the floor…or the……