What should we be thankful for? What should we be grateful for?
Last week I started Monday morning with what felt like cramps. Perhaps some bad milk? No big deal, soldier on through. Around noon, though, the debilitating pain hit me like a truck. We called the phone advice line and headed to the hospital just to be safe. They confirmed we were doing the right thing, and 11 hours later I was heading home, minus my appendix. Certainly I am thankful for the countless doctors, nurses, assistants, and medical staff who are busy enough (and risking their lives) dealing with the pandemic while still handling all of their regular workloads. They were gracious, informative, and supportive. And I am beyond grateful to my wife, who did double-duty taking care of the family while I was recovering, and my family and friends for their well wishes and prayers.
While I was waiting in the hospital for my surgery - alone, thanks to the pandemic - I had some time to think. And to keep my mind off the fact that I’d never had surgery before, had never been put under, and was freaking out just a little bit, I tried to think about other things for which I am thankful. Here’s a partial list:
-The unencumbered innocence of children and dogs.
-The miracle of existence.
-The millions of people who, each day, make the world just a tiny bit better than it was the day before.
-The billions and billions of plants, animals, and bacteria that go through generations upon generations without any interference by, or even awareness of, human beings.
-The unknowable vastness of space.
-The power of positive thinking.
-The fact that, on the whole, each succeeding generation is more compassionate, more tolerant, more caring, and more active in their protection of the planet.
-The incredible diversity and beauty of the planet, its biomes, and its inhabitants.
-The power of God, God’s love, and God’s influence, direct or indirect, felt or unfelt.
Now these are mostly big-picture philosophical musings that make sense for someone about to go under the knife. But in a year that most everyone wishes would just hurry up and finish; looking ahead to a Thanksgiving apart from friends, family, and loved ones; and when so much of mankind’s sloth-like progress seems to have been eradicated in a matter of months - this big-picture thinking made me remember that, even in the morass of 2020, that the world is an awe-inspiring place. Each of us will one day be gone from this planet; but the list above, by God’s grace, will continue unabated.
I hope you are able to connect with those you love in some way, shape, or form this week, and I hope you can find much to be thankful for.
-Daniel Thomas, CGS Musician
Christ the Good Shepherd
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