Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

This is mostly a re-post of something I wrote six years ago on my old blog, polished up and expanded just a bit.  Hope you enjoy it. . .


Over the years, the conviction has grown within me that gratitude is, on a very fundamental level, the most appropriate response we can make for pretty much everything in our lives. There is very little that we have in our lives that wasn't, ultimately, in one way or another, given to us by someone else. 

Existence itself is a gratuitous gift, for which there is no appropriate response except gratitude.  The Creator and Ruler of the Universe has called all things into being, and I myself, along with the rest of it.  There is no fundamental reason why I should exist rather than not exist, and yet I do, through nothing that I did on my own initiative.

Most fundamentally, we owe gratitude to God, "in whom we live and move and have our being", and in whose Image and Likeness we are made. And in knowing whom and loving whom we find our purpose.  "You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You."

On a more mundane level, we owe gratitude for our connections to other people - to our parents and grandparents; to our teachers, coaches, and mentors; to our brothers and sisters, our wives and husbands, and our friends, whose love and care make our lives rich and meaningful.

Love itself, and the earthy joys of bodily life; food, clothing, and shelter; music, truth and beauty; all the mundane, daily circumstances that, individually and collectively, bring joy to our lives.  Even my Tigers, and my Spartans, most of the time.

Every one of us has his/her own set of things to be thankful for, and 'givers' to whom we owe thanks. On this day of Thanksgiving, I encourage all my friends in Blog-space (for whom and to whom I am also grateful) to pause, however briefly, and give some thought to what you're grateful for, and to whom. . .


  1. In addition to a zillion other things, I'll use up your comment space & say I'm grateful for *you*, and I hope your day is peaceful and filled with family & fellowship.

  2. "Most fundamentally, we owe gratitude to God, "in whom we live and move and have our being", and in whose Image and Likeness we are made."

    Profound yet such simple thoughts. It is, indeed, all thanks to God for all of the blessings in our lives.

    (OK, (hopefully) humorous confession: as soon as I heard the "You didn't build that" thing I laughed and said "of course not, God did". They didn't get it ... )

  3. Very good reminders and I have much to be thankful for. Many of my posts are tongue in cheek and not meant to be taken tooooo seriously, including the current one about Thanksgiving. God has been very good and I owe it all to Him. Wishing you a wonderful weekend with your beautiful Jen and children.

  4. very wise thoughts about gratitude, especially gratitude to God from whom all blessings flow and from who everything we have comes from. I hope you all had a nice day!


  5. Dave - Thank you. You are very kind. . .

    Our day was good, if just a bit lower-key than we'd planned. Hope yours was suitably blessed. . .

    Xavier - Sheesh; I actually had to look up the quote. . .

    The interplay between divine and human initiative is a theo-philosophical conundrum of ancient standing, going back at least to St Augustine in the 4th century. In 'global' terms (ie, not speaking narrowly about salvation), it certainly isn't the case that we humans are powerless, or that our actions are worthless. But it's always salutary to remember who is God, and who isn't (uh, that would be me). . . At bottom, it all starts with God, and "Let there be. . ."

    And of course, even in human terms, the point is well-taken (even if the president expressed it clumsily) - we are interdependent with each other in all sorts of ways. None of us is sufficient unto him/herself. . .

    Bijoux - Thanks; I know that you know what's what. . . Hope your family's Thanksgiving was properly blessed. . .

    [And perhaps I'm just a bit more neurotic than I need to be, but I fret sometimes, that in my blog I make us seem better than we really are; we have our 'Fallen Moments' just like anybody else. Mostly because of me. . . ;) ]

    Betty - Thanks; true that. Our day was good; hope yours was likewise.

  6. Nope, I just think of you as a glass half full kind of person, whereas Xavier and I are glass half empty folks! Both equally happy, but find our humor and joy in different ways.......haha. Hope your day off today is fabulous. The sun is shining here and I just enjoyed a nice long walk. See? I can be a positive person too!

  7. Thanks, Beej. . .

    Maybe my glass is half-full, but I'm not always sure as to what it's half-full OF. . . ;)

    Yesterday was beautiful here - 60F and sunny (albeit windy); with my wife's blessing, I played hooky from the meal prep for a couple hours, and put some miles on my bike. When one is given a gift of shorts-weather in November, one oughtn't waste it. . .

    Today, tho, it's barely 40F, and threatening rain. . . (*sigh*)

  8. I'm a day late and a dollar short (at the LEAST), but it looks and sounds like you had a peaceful and pleasant Thanksgiving, Craig. We did, as well. I'm thankful that I got to spend yesterday with family, which is an all too rare treat in this day of the dispersed extended family. That was GOOD.

  9. it's the reason for the day and one i embrace. hope yours was lovely.

  10. Buck - No worries, Buck; that's the beauty of Gratitude - it's good any time.

    Glad you had good family time. Funny - we were nominally hosting Jen's family, but her mom and mom's husband were all that came. . .

    Lime - Quite so. Hope yours was, too. . .

  11. I always just paid lip service to gratitude. But over the last ten years I finally gave it the attention it deserves. It is absolutely amazing what we can be grateful for.
    The best part is we don't have to wait to give thanks.

  12. I find, more and more, as I say my prayers each night, that there is a greater felt need to say thanks for everything, and less of a feeling that I have any right whatsoever to ask for anything else. This will change, of course. I always find a way to get back to being a selfish prick. For now, though, it's nice to believe I'm satisfied forever :-)

  13. Skip - Hmmmmm. . . you provoke an interesting thought - do we tend to become more grateful as we get older?

    Suldog - Yeah, that Inner Selfish Prick is a persistent bastard, isn't he?

  14. It's an amazing article in support of all the online viewers; they will obtain advantage from it I am sure.

    My web page:

  15. Hello There. І dіsсovered yοuг weblog
    using msn. That is a very smartly writtеn article.
    ӏ wіll make sure to bookmаrk it and return to
    read еxtra of your hеlpful infοrmatіοn.
    Thanks for the post. I'll certainly comeback.

    My website ... MintedPoker Offer

  16. It's going to be finish of mine day, but before finish I am reading this wonderful piece of writing to increase my experience.

    Also visit my blog; 888 Poker Offer ()

  17. Ρaragraph writing is alѕo a fun, іf
    you be familiar with after that you cаn write otherwise it is complicatеd tо write.

    my page; InternetSite