Life is not static or stagnant. It isn't dull or fixed.
Instead, existence is dynamic, and the journey of faith is, too. With each new day, we learn and grow; we change and adapt.
The days before Thanksgiving provide an intentional time to express gratitude. This year I am most thankful for the ongoing movements of life. I give thanks to God that change is inevitable, and I don't have to have a plan for everything. Actually, it isn't just that I don't have to plan for everything, I flat-out can't plan for everything. There are too many wild cards.
I give thanks to God on this Thanksgiving Eve for a significant realization that has occurred within me over the past year: As much as I adore my oft-mentioned planner, I now accept that I should only add entries written in pencil, and I should keep an eraser handy. The future is uncertain. It just is. There's no fighting it. And perhaps for the first time in my adult life, I no longer find this reality infuriating.
Life's uncertainties no longer raise up within me a desire to stomp, kick, and wrestle with God and the universe. At some point, the fact that each day doesn't go according to plan stopped feeling like a curse. Lately, there are times when it actually feels like a gift. God comprehends more than I comprehend. And while I do have a strong affinity for my own ideas and plans, I am beginning to accept that I don't know it all (gasp!).
The one consistent presence we have in this world of uncertainties is God. What we know for certain is that we don't go it alone. This single truth is worth a daily Thanksgiving celebration, cranberry sauce and all.
We aren't alone! We might not be able to read the future, but we know for certain that whatever the future is, God will be there. And God isn't only with us, God is actively at work in our lives. Our creator desires to provide light, healing, and a sense of connectedness for all God's children.
I have no idea what next year will bring. I likely will not always be so keen on unpredictability and going with the flow. But for these rare moments of clarity, I give thanks. For friends and family who inspire, nurture, support, and sustain, I give thanks. I rejoice today that whatever tomorrow holds, the Holy Spirit will be walking with us all and paving the way.
For the last several years, this day-before-Thanksgiving column has provided the opportunity to me to share a prayer. This prayer has been written in the hope that you find it a helpful tool for the days ahead. Perhaps you might use it for your devotional time or at a family meal. Whatever the case, I pray that the coming days are a time of meaningful reflection and love in your life.
Thanksgiving Prayer 2014
God of the journey,
Thank you for the gifts that accompany uncertainty.
Thank you for the reality that we don't need to know it all.
Thank you that in this life there are,
times to change and times to stay the same,
times to learn and times to teach,
times to be rigid and times to soften,
times to release and times to absorb.
In the year ahead, give us courage,
to shift perspectives
On this Thanksgiving Day and always,
we give thanks for everything.
we give thanks for your presence among us.