Counting Our Beatitudes

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's time to count our beatitudes.

Each Thanksgiving we pause, remembering our blessings.

Yes, we could focus on the bad things, on the fiscal cliff, on high unemployment, on home foreclosures or Hurricane Sandy which has devastated homes and businesses, leaving people without power or heat in freezing temperatures.

These are unpleasant circumstances we could dwell on, but for this Thanksgiving season, we need to step back, see the big picture and think of the good things.

There's family, of course, and the little children in our lives. What a blessing they are with their antics and surprises.

We are thankful for family reunions at this time of year, as we gather round the table enjoying good food and fellowship.

There's ham, turkey and dressing, homemade dumplings and pumpkin pie; the good foods we identify with Thanksgiving.

And we give thanks as we say grace for the abundance set before us.

Many are not that fortunate this Thanksgiving Day.

We remember our war heroes who are far away, fighting for our freedom in some desolate land.

We bow our heads in thanks for the freedom those soldiers provide for those back home. And for their families who support them.

We are thankful for a bountiful harvest this year.

While unemployment is high, we are thankful we have a job to go to.

We have blessings of clean water, good roads, and electricity to light our homes.

We appreciate our friends who make our days more enjoyable.

We are thankful for our homes, a haven during troubling times.

We are thankful for our faith that sustains us in good times and bad.

We are thankful for the pet that keeps us company, cheers us on when we are sad.

We thank you for the abundance of "things" that make our daily life easier, more pleasant.

I'm thankful for a good book and the ability to read it; for the blessings of sight and hearing.

And I'm thankful for good teachers, for their dedication and ability to pass knowledge to their students.

I'm thankful for doctors and nurses with caring hearts and hands of healing.

Those in good health should certainly be thankful for that blessing.

Many are thankful for a good soulmate, who is faithful and supportive.

Charles Dickens said, "Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."

In the Holy Scripture Paul tells his Christian brothers to "fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about those things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about."

This Thanksgiving season is the right time to thank God for the good things in our lives.

1 Thess 5:18 tells us to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Sure, we can look back and see the past misfortunes that Dickens wrote about. All of us could do that, but to have peace in our hearts, we need to follow the advice of Paul; to look on the good.

May you have peace of mind this Thanksgiving season.