I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the amazing holiday we (in Canada) get to celebrate this weekend. An Israeli friend of mine recently asked me of the religious significance of Thanksgiving, to which I couldn’t give an accurate answer. The only thing I could really tell her was, “Well, nothing really. We kind of just stole the holiday from the Americans. Theirs has historical relevance. We just wanted to celebrate the harvest. I guess.”
And yet, I find that my Thanksgivings tend to have immense spiritual overtones. Just like the feasts of old, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate all of the blessings that God has given each of us for the year. In that vein, I want to give a list of 5 things from the past year that I’ve been thankful for. They are in no order, just what I’ve been musing over in this season.
1. A New Job
In April, the company I work for opened a new store within walking distance of my house. I was able to easily transfer, cutting my commute significantly. I can now walk to work quicker than I could drive to it before. This has given me the impetus to start running, and I enjoyed a lot of time outdoors on my way to and from work this summer. As the winter season approaches, I will have to find new means of getting to work, but the convenience is great.
In addition, I have never met a group SO spiritually diverse. We have Christians, Buddhists, New Age Spiritualists, Seekers, Agnostics, and probably much in between. More amazingly, almost everyone I’ve been around has been excited to discuss spirituality. I’ve talked about the minutiae of Genesis storytelling, the teachings of Jain mystics, the appearance of Jesus, and the appeal of Buddhism. It’s been so enriching to live and work with a group who are so hungry for the bigger questions. I wish we all could have that sort of environment.
2. My Wife’s Pregnancy
I have been incredibly humbled by the amazing grace that my wife has shown during the past 8 and a half months. Pregnancy, simply, suits her. However, we’ve also had the easiest, most blessed pregnancy that we could have expected. She has been healthy and (mostly) comfortable, and our little boy has been growing perfectly. We have been able to grow closer as we step nearer to adding another member to our family. And when it’s all over, I get to be dad to a little son. I am very blessed indeed.
3. Our Families
This one is definitely cliche, but it has been so true. Our families have hosted us for holidays, taken us on trips, and supported us through the pregnancy. Each member adds to our lives in ways that we love and would miss if they weren’t around. They may be spread around Western Canada, but they are in our thoughts and prayers daily. We have the pleasure of having half our family over for Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I look forward to one day being able to have everyone over under one roof. Family has been on my mind a lot as mine is about to grow and I have to learn how to be a father, but it all makes me very excited.
4. My Church
This last year has been an immense year of change and growth for my church. New leadership, a new building, and new ministries all over the place. Several of the pastors have taken me under their wings and mentored me, for which I am incredibly grateful. In addition, I connected with a few people and have become close friends. I am excited to see what we, the next generation, are able to do as we make our stand for the church, especially as it relates to the arts. Hopefully this blog will be a great jumping off point for a career in Arts Ministry!
5. This Blog
Finally, Epic Theology has been an excellent outlet for my thoughts and ideas as I prepare to work in the field. I have had amazing feedback, and have appreciated every comment, encouragement, and correction along the way. The readership has surpassed my expectations, and I am humbled by how far this little blog has reached. I want to thank each and every one of you who takes time out of your day to sit in on the conversation. Please know that I appreciate it.
And so, as we enter the Thanksgiving weekend, what are you thankful for? And perhaps more importantly, what are you going to do about it? Can you let those people whom you appreciate know that you do? Can you make someone’s day a little brighter who has been a blessing to you over the past year? Lets all try to spend more time thinking about what we’re thankful for than what we are missing over the next year, and see what happens.