Entry Forty-one: Thanks.

[I'm taking a break from the other stories to bring you this holiday-themed chestnut in seven parts. Today: 7 of 7]

“Father God, we are thankful for everything you have provided for us and we want to take this opportunity, gathered as a family, to verbalize what we feel in our hearts…” As Father prayed, my mind started settling on some of the things I was thankful for. My wife, my longsuffering wife, who still loves me regardless; two wonderful kids; my family is relatively healthy; I’m employed and doing okay financially; we have two cars that, though not new, run; a great house; some wonderful friends; a cool dog; extended family that I get along with reasonably well; great parents who love my wife like one of their own kids; a church that cares about me; I still have a full head of hair… In the midst of all these things I was thankful for, I realized it wasn’t hard to come up with an answer to Father’s traditional question. After just a few moments of reflection I had been overwhelmed with choices. Then I started feeling bad about what we had just done, ruining Fathers tradition and letting our anxiety muck up the positives of the drill. I considered asking for a do-over, but didn’t know how to approach it without embarrassing everyone else. Then Father’s voice cut through my internal monologue with the close of his Thanksgiving prayer.

“…and I ask that you prepare all of us in these next few weeks as we search our hearts and minds, trying to come up with things we are thankful for to share at the Christmas dinner in just under four weeks. Remind the family that they have been warned. In Your name we pray, amen.”

I looked around as we all released hands and nearly everyone was smiling. Maybe I hadn’t been alone in my thoughts. Regardless, my “do-over” had been scheduled and that was one more thing for which I could be thankful.

All words and images ©2005/J. Colle

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