Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

"So the last will be first, and the first last.” Matthew 20:16

One might say that competition is a traditional American value. Many of us think that getting the edge or the drop on others is what life is all about. Scoring highest and winning the prize is what life's about. Well, being one of the kids who was never picked first for a team, I can attest to the reality that there is much more to life than being first in line. There are other people waiting on the fence with you. People who can harmonize are much more valuable than the soloist. Kids who can play with the team are much more valuable than the star who is also a liability. We live in a land which often promotes winners over losers and neglect the ones who make quality of life possible. The ones in the back of the line, who are looking straight ahead, not over their shoulder, considering the needs of others and grateful for their part. They are what Thanksgiving is all about for me. Giving thanks for the people who opened their hearts to another, thanking those who made living possible and celebrating the gifts of the unsung heroes in our lives. So here are some of the people I am thankful for today.

The driver who lets me in their lane when I am lost and need to merge.
The check out person who smiles and thanks me even though they have a thankless job.
The train conductor who holds the train until the last of us gets on.
The harried Mom who holds the elevator for an elderly person.
The ones in recovery who are helping others get better.
The children that wait for others and make sure everybody gets a snack.
The people who see sadness on another face and offer a gentle hug.
The people who take time to greet us and stop to talk for a while.
The people who enjoy another person's company more than their blackberry.
For those who collect trash, cut lawns-deliver and collect the things I cannot carry.
For the mechanic who is willing to explain my car to me and make it run again.
For those who see beauty in hard people and hard places.
For those who dance and sing when they could be whining.
For those who reach out to the unlovely and the unloved in all of us.

Today, may we remember that the least among us are the prizes in God's kingdom. Those who seems of no value are precious to God. And may this be for all of us a Thanksgiving where the true heroes shine through. May we give thanks for the heroes who live their lives so that we might have joy abundant in the here and now.

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