What were you thankful for yesterday? For most of us, Thanksgiving brings to mind all the many joys we have in our life. But have you ever thought about being thankful for those things which humble you or constrain you? Have you ever seen a lack as a blessing?
Tis the gift to be simple,
’tis the gift to be free,
’tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
’twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
to turn, turn, will be our delight
till by turning, turning we come round right.
(Traditional Shaker song, Eighteenth century.)
We don’t often think about “coming down where we ought to be” as a gift. What is the “place just right” for most of us? The place where we have more money and a nicer house? The place where we earn recognition for our work? Is that the valley of love and delight?
Or, can anonymity and quietness be gifts? Can humility be a blessing? Can we find peace and contentment in where we are at, instead of always searching for the next thing? Can we be glad for the simplest of gifts and find joy there?
In all things, I want to be content with the blessings I already have. A comfortable home. Food to eat. A kitchen to prepare it. Warm beds and all we need to stay happy and healthy. A loving family.
But I also want to be thankful for the things I don’t have. The fame I don’t have that would build my pride. Lots of money that I would squander. Constant health that I would take for granted. Sometimes the lack of things is what builds our character the most.
Why should I seek elsewhere when I already have all I could ask for right here? This is my place. This is what I am thankful for.
I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with gratitude for all that is already within your doors.
“Though my feet may wander far from home, may my heart here never leave.”