Today is a journey down memory lane, examining my graced history with abundant gratitude. The readings on this Canadian Thanksgiving lend themselves well to meditating on thanks. Colossians 3 reminds us that we are holy and beloved, that we should bear with one another, forgive our transgressions, and clothe ourselves in all things wonderful, such as compassion, kindness and patience. Mostly, we should snuggle into a coat of love, allowing peace to reign in our hearts. Paul encourages us to sing to God with gratitude in our hearts, thanking our Creator for everything. That is an amazing reading and I simply love it.
Of course, it is always easier to sing, dance and be thankful when all is well in our lives. The psalmist paints a glorious image in Psalm 113: from the rising of the sun to its setting, we praise the Lord. There is no other God like this One who raises the poor and lifts the needy. What about before being lifted or raised? Can we still find breath to sing with joy to our God? Can we believe that all of life has been a grand gift? Or does the pain outweigh the praise?
When I look back over my life I know that from a very young age, God has manifested as a peaceful Presence to me. I see the mountains and valleys outstretched on my imaginary life map and recognize that I have at times followed a trail of blood and tears that Christ Himself has dripped onto my path, as a marker to find my way out of the darkness. If there is one thing that I am grateful for more than anything today, it is that Christ has claimed me as His beloved.
Today’s Gospel has deep meaning to me. At a fairly significant juncture in my life, this was the message that saved me. I was pretty broken at the time, unsure of how to piece together my plans that had been shattered, and stuck on taking a step forward in trust. God intervened in ways that brought many blessings and ultimately changed how my life would turn out. I would have been happy with my previous choices and outcomes but this life has been more about others than me and these experiences have kept me close to my Creator in a life of service.
Sometimes when we ask, we hear no immediate answer. We knock but the door does not always fling open. We search for a long time without finding. Great patience is needed. The answer comes, the door opens, and the lost is found. God will not give us a stone. What is given may seem puzzling at times but press on. One day, looking back, we can discover the greater good and the bigger plan. The song of praise will rise. On this journey, wrapped in a cloak of Love, we can be thankful.