In this holiday season we’re often reminded of giving – whether it’s giving to our children, our family, our friends or even ourselves, this season is about giving and thanksgiving.
And thanksgiving is just another form of giving. . . of giving to yourself the gift of remembering what’s good and the gift of thanking others for their impact in your life.
I was watching television yesterday – NCIS reruns and my favorite! Sometime I’ll have to go on and on about my crush on Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) but for today, I want to recount a story from one of their episodes.
In this story Tony Dinozzo, played by Michael Weatherly, is walking out a journey with his father, played by Robert Wagner. Tony’s dad is looking for a purpose in his life as he grows older and has moved to Washington to be closer to his son.
Gibbs suggests he find a project at the same time a woman living on the street mistakes Tony’s father for her father. Tony’s dad takes on finding out who this woman is and finding her a place to live.
Walking over his son’s personal line, Tony’s dad brings the woman to Tony’s home. Later in the story Tony’s dad finds out the woman is suffering from a brain tumor, continues to believe that Tony’s father is her father and has only one month left to live.
The story ends with Tony’s father apologizing to this woman, lying in a hospital bed, for not being there and having turned his back on her. He talks about the mistakes he made as a father, how he wasn’t tolerant of her when she was younger and how he’ll stay with her so they can get to know each other better.
Such a gift of acceptance, love and caring to a woman who was a perfect stranger just 3 days previous.
How often do we overlook the opportunities in our lives to accept others as they are and love them for who they are?
There is such a big difference between being tolerant of someone’s behavior and accepting them as a person but not liking their behavior.
I think this becomes a sticking point – you may tolerate the person but do you accept them? You tolerate the belief but do you accept the person?
Our country has had a difficult year, and may well be looking forward to another several years of intolerance and anger. But, no matter what you believe, how you voted, what you wish would happen . . . the reality is that the President-elect becomes the President in January and only God knows our future.
In giving thanks to God for the Grace and strength only He gives me each day, I have to remember that I must also thank Him for the things in life that may not line up with how I THINK they should go.
Truth be told, I didn’t think we had a good candidate this year for President. BUT, truth be told, God’s will is more important than what I think or hope for.
Which leads me back to acceptance, tolerance, and thanksgiving.
This year, as I sit around our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday evening (since their father has this holiday), we’ll count all of our blessings – whether we think of them as blessings or not.
We are blessed to be living in a country where we elect our President. If we don’t like the President, we have another choice in four years.
I am thankful for my children (though they do drive me nuts!), for my car that runs, the roof over my head, the food on my table, hot water from the sink, indoor plumbing, relationships with friends and family and the people in my life.
I am thankful that God is sovereign over my life and my future is in His hands and not my own. My decisions are not nearly as smart as His – especially since He ALSO knows my future!
I am thankful I am a child of God and can worship freely in our country.
I am thankful for the people who work in the stores and services that make my life easier.
I am thankful for the people who serve our country – military, police, firemen, and all other services that ensure I can live through each day safely without fighting myself.
I am thankful for so much but sometimes it’s hard to remember to BE thankful in the midst of the challenges and difficulties.
By being thankful you release joy and grace into your life and the lives of the people around you.
As you move into this holiday season, remember that being thankful is a state of mind that you can enjoy all year long and not just at Thanksgiving.