What does it take to bring a “thank you” to our lips? An “oh, yes!” to our minds? That rush of gratitude to our hearts? Little things like the purr of a cat or the scent of wood burning in the fireplace? Ordinary things like stopping for the school bus or pouring the first cup of coffee in the morning? Breathtaking things like a grandchild’s artwork or the stunning beauty of a vibrant sunset? What does it take to pause us in our path with an overwhelming sense of being blessed?
We’ve entered the last two months of the calendar year and they are chocked full of reasons to be thankful! From the freedom to vote to the sacrifice of soldiers, to the generous earth which yields beans and yams and birds for our table, to the tilting of the planet bringing the quiet of darkness and the cold slumber of snow, to the gift of a Savior little and ordinary and breathtakingly beautiful… so many prompts for our gratitude! Do we express it before the moment is lost? Will we offer it as fully as we feel it? What does it take?
The words of an old popular song provide an additional prod (thank you, Joni Mitchell!): “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone…” But sadly, we are so saturated with stuff, we could easily counter: “When it’s gone, I’ll get another!” Yet when what goes away is not a thing but a person, we feel the full force of Mitchell’s meaning. A possible counter to the weight of this reality is found in an equally old song by Avery & Marsh: “Love them now. Don’t wait till they’re gone away. Love them now, while they’re around. Touch them, hold them, laugh and cry with them. Show them, tell them, don’t deny with them. Honor them, give birth and die with them now. Love them now before they’re just a guilty mem’ry. Love them now. Love them now.“
That works for me! How about you?