Aging and Being Thankful
For me Thanksgiving is more of a secular holiday, yet, it brings out a deeply thankful spiritual response to all of God’s gifts. As I age, perhaps one of the blessings of getting older is that over the last few years I am more, and more thankful, for the most so-called ‘mundane aspects of life.
I can remember a few years ago, walking towards the retreat house, not having a pleasant day, when suddenly I realized that the so-called bad moments should be appreciated since, like all of the good moments, they pass. When I am out of sorts, why can’t I appreciate them? It is then, in the struggle, I wake up to my ability to choose how I will deal with it. I still fail much of the time to get my head above water, yet, it does enrich my day when I can step back and be thankful for my struggles. Just everyday little battles, yet important in how I deal with them.
Now that I wear hearing aids, I am very thankful that I can hear. Also, my eyes are giving me some trouble, and for that, I am aware of what a gift sight is. I have a pacemaker, which makes me so very thankful that I have a heart that still beats. Each year, I will be 73 in December, which allows me to see how little time I have left in this world, and that makes me thankful for life itself, and because it is so short, that makes it all the more precious.
The number of those who have died that I have loved, of course, gets higher as I age, and that allows me to be thankful for those who are still here, and hopefully leads me not to take them for granted.
We fight to live, choose to be thankful, as well as simply trust when things are painful and chaotic. It is not always easy to trust, or believe, but it is no easier to go the other route either. At the crossroads which way do we go?
Faith gives us our ‘true north’. We follow the star that leads us home, even if the road is rough, and filled at times with sorrow. We are all God’s work of art, and we are being made into beings of incredible beauty if only we keep our hearts open to life, to love, to others, and yes, to our Loving Father, as shown to us by the life and death of Jesus Christ.
I wish all that I know and love a beautiful Thanksgiving. If there are friends and loved ones who do not find the holidays a happy time, then delve deeper into the mystery of the Season we will soon be in, which is Advent. Take root in your faith, and pray, let go of things that exhaust you, and try to simply be present to the Infinite Mind of God who loves you in a manner way beyond any human beings ability to comprehension.-Br.MD
Edited by markdohle