Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful for Thanksgiving

In the days when personal computers were the size of an American Tourister suitcase, I remember taking one of the first online personality tests. My friends answered the questions on my survey first, and the results did not reflect my personality at all. So I answered the questions, and we all agreed that the personality profile was much more accurate. The ability to be honest with one's self is important in many aspects of life. We have such an ability to deceive ourselves, as well as the rest of the world; it's amazing we are able to function at all.

Of all my quirky personality traits, and I know it sounds strange, but I am grateful for my sense of gratitude. I am not sure how much of these traits are learned behavior or if it's just how we were made, but I think it must be a bit of both. I remember back in my younger years, I took many things for granted. I expected that things should always go my way and I would become upset or depressed if things did not work out the way I planned. The more success I achieved, the more I thought I deserved, and the more I wanted.

It is so easy to become complacent with our current situations in life. Our job, our spouse, our children, our health, everything that makes up our life right now, as mundane an unglamorous as it seems, are the very things for which we should be grateful. Don't believe me? What if they were all taken away from you tomorrow? Somewhere, maybe just down the street, someone is going through that very situation right now.

How many of us just expect to have our job waiting for us when we show up? How many of us have walked into our place of employment only to be told that we need to go home because our job had been eliminated? Been there, done that, walked out with a cardboard box with my personal belongings. Talk about a bad day.

Now you may be thinking, I wish I could get away from everything in my life. I hate my job, my spouse, my kids are brats and if I could walk away, I would. The world is full of people who have done that, only to find in a few short years they are stuck in another job they hate, with a new spouse they can't get along with and kids that are driving them nuts. Maybe the problem is they can't look past their problems to see the blessing in their lives.

As I sit down with my family this year for Thanksgiving, if I begin to complain about anything, I hope someone will give me a kick in the pants. I have a great family, a good job with co-workers I consider friends, a roof over my head and most importantly, a relationship with a loving God.

From a personal standpoint, I am still a mess. But I keep working on many aspects of my personal life, trying to become a better husband, father, and certainly a better Christian. For all the faults I still possess, ingratitude is one I am working hard to eliminate.

I know that the blessing I enjoy right now have been the result of so many people in my life who have helped me, stuck with me, believed in me, encouraged me, gave me a chance and even a second chance when they didn't have to. Thank you, one and all, and thank you Lord for putting these people in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving.