Embracing a Spirit of Thanksgiving all through the year

I have enjoyed reading my friends’ facebook statuses over the last few weeks. Many have been writing about the things and persons for whom they are thankful, and it has been neat to see people espouse an attitude of gratitude. When I thought about writing a Thanksgiving post, I began a long mental list of people who have influenced and encouraged me; a list of intangible things like my education and other opportunities that I have been given; and even some tangible things like a roof over my head and reliable transportation (and warm weather days on which to truly enjoy my personal mode of transportation!). J

As I reflected on this, however, I wondered why it is that we need a special “holiday” to remind us to be thankful. Should we not embrace a spirit of thanksgiving year round? Should we not be grateful for the gift of each new day that is given to us? I know how easy it is to get caught up in the cosmic and chaotic forces of calendar coordination, tackling task lists, and managing multiple responsibilities as if one were a knife-juggling circus performer, who at the end of the day falls into bed from the sheer exhaustion of it all. We live in such a fast-paced environment with everyone and everything in constant motion. It is a time of intense hyperactivity, and sometimes it is hard to slow down for even just a moment to breathe, let alone reflect and give thanks for the gift of breathing itself. Yet that is what we need to do – slow down, breathe, reflect, give thanks, pray.

In the Spring of 2008, I took a Spirituality class at MTSO. This class was taught by Bishop Judy Craig who is an amazingly grounded, witty, inspiring and “real” person. She encouraged us to take several “sixty-second Sabbaths” in our day, a time to pause for just a minute to breathe, regroup, and pray. Perhaps a way to embrace the spirit of thanksgiving throughout the year is to incorporate this practice into our everyday lives. Seriously, all it takes is a minute.

Until next time, peace …

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