Thinking Some Thanksgiving Thoughts!October 9th, 2012
Not sure how it happened. All of a sudden it's October. Seems like we went from hot summer days to the month of October. There is a book here in my library, well, actually there are quite a few books in my library, can't think for the life of me think of its title, and I'm too lazy to go look, but this particular book is about spiritual rhythms and the seasons of change.
One only has to have a good look around to notice that the season has gone through a considerable change. The trees are just simply beautiful in their fall dresses. The brilliant colours of reds, golden yellows, browns and fading green delight the eyes as the falling leaves do their seasonal dance and lay down great carpets of leaves. You should see my front yard. The carpet of leaves is a golden yellow slowly covering the green grass and one day later since the photograph below was taken the grass cannot be seen. Yes, the season of Fall is here. October has arrived!
October for me is about thanksgiving. The whole year is about thanksgiving for that matter. However October focuses us here in the Church more directly on the actual act of thanksgiving and to actively count our blessings, as the song goes, "one by one".
There is a wonderful prayer that captures the spirit of thanksgiving for me. It begins by asking the Creator God to accept our thanks and praise. It invites us to give thanks for the splendour of the whole creation. A great spiritual exercise, involving holy patience, is to take the time necessary to watch as a spider spin its web. Such an intricate work of art filled with creative wonder. Spiders and their webs are just a very small part of creation's splendour. And the obvious splendour at this time of the year, as Fall spreads its beauty before us are the magnificent trees. Their majestic beauty speaks of the glory of a Creator God ... who is Artist.
This little prayer of thanksgiving also invites us to offer our thanks for the beauty of this world in which we live, for this great country in which we are blessed to work, rest and play, and for the wonder of life itself. Even in the midst of the ugliness of what may be happening in the world around us, Syria suddenly comes to mind, we are invited to give thanks for the gift of life, and the blessing of each new day. The challenge is to recognize those blessings that come to us and also for us be a blessing to others.
We are also invited to offer our thanks for the blessing of family and friends and for the love that surrounds us on every side. My eldest sister and her husband spend three weeks visiting with us and it was a blessing ofthe richest kind.
We are also invited to offer our thanks for those tasks and challenges and accomplishments that demand our best efforts, and that delight and satisfy us, and also to offer thanks for those disappointments and failures that teach us something about ourselves and also lead us to acknowledge our dependence on God alone. That's the part of this little prayer that is usually hard for people to get their tongues around - it kind of sticks in the throat as we often want to be self-sufficient. The challenge of a Christian is to give thanks to God in "all" circumstances. Need to clarify that perhaps, we are to give thanks "in" all circumstances as opposed to "for" all circumstances.
A small group of running friends and I set off on Thanksgiving Monday for a bit of a run to see the Fall Foliage. We started from Sunset Drive and made our way up, up, up and then down McLeod Hill turning onto to the Royal Road, with its rolling hills, and back to Sunset Drive. The company was great and the scenery just simply breathtaking in its magnificent splendour. That ancient Jewish wisdom of the psalmist comes to mind ... who some three thousand years ago penned these wonderful words "Let the fields be jubliant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy!"
The trees were certainly singing for joy and the fields were jubliant! The air was crisp and at times a good breeze was blowing and leaves were tumbling down, caught on the wings of the invisible wind, doing their seasonal dance. Running along the McLeod Hill Road with such wonderful sights along the way, on both sides of the road, and in front of us, it wasn't difficult to grasp how and why the psalmist would have been so inspired to write such wonderful words as he 'sang his new song' to the Creator.. The world around us, the splendour of nature, as the seasons change and we enter the rhythm of Fall, speaks loudly of the glory of a Creator God.
So, I invite you to perhaps participate in a spiritual exercise and take a few moments and simply count your blessings - naming them one by one ..... starting off with having the good health to go for a run ... with a group of like minded runners ... on a beautiful October morning ... in a country that offers us freedom and peace ... and turkey dinners ..... and pumpkin pie perhaps?
the running rev!