“It’s not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them. That is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” ~ W.T. Purkiser
Today was Thanksgiving in Canada. First I have to address my American friends that are reading this post. Thanksgiving in Canada is a national holiday to celebrate a bountiful harvest. It has nothing to do with pilgrims. And the history of this holiday goes all the way back to 1578, well before y’all started celebrating with your pilgrims. Google it; it’s worth a google. Don’t worry, I love to celebrate American Thanksgiving, too. The history of me celebrating Thanksgiving on the U.S. date actually originates from my high school days where a couple of my friends and I would skip school to watch some excellent NFL games and eat turkey and perogies. Kids, stay in school. I’m not encouraging you to skip… but I felt justified at the time in that Thanksgiving is a very important day of the year. I did it to be in solidarity with brothers and sisters south of the border. Really, I skipped school because I’m a good person if you look at it from this skewed point of view.
Anyway, after saving my friend Ricardo last week, I was surprised at how effortless it was to devour some birds this weekend. I felt no remorse, only deep satisfaction. These turkeys sacrificed their lives for their country. For this, we honour and commemorate them by loading them with cranberry sauce and putting them to rest in the happy places of our bellies. But aside from usual overindulgence of food, this Thanksgiving was quite different for me. In reflecting on the last year of my life, the depth of my brokenness hit me hard. God has been so good to me. Looking at my past, I was humbled at the thought of how far I’ve come and at the reality of how far I still have to go. I am not perfect. I am actually extremely far from it. And yet, by the grace of God, He finds a way to make something useful out of a terribly broken man. I’ve seen a lot of miracles in my life, but one that still shocks me is that God was able to take a wretch like me and turn my life into a life of positive impact. There’s a saying that my pastor uses frequently, “People see the glory, but they don’t know the story”… So many people see the amazing things I’m blessed to be a part of and have no clue that I may likely be even more of a mess than they are. The only difference is the grace of God. I’m just willing to start walking before I have it all together and I trust God to turn my mistakes into beauty as I move.
I placed a quote at the beginning of this post that demonstrates that what we do with our lives is a deeper expression of gratitude than merely talking about how thankful we are to be alive. Yes, it’s so important to be thankful and to verbalize it often. Thankfulness is a powerful tool to unleash happiness. But this Thanksgiving I’m challenging you and I’m challenging myself to live a life that demonstrates our gratitude by actually putting our gifts to work. We’re blessed to be a blessing. We’re not just blessed to talk about how blessed we are. If someone bought you a car and you said a million thank you’s but never drove it, I think they would begin to wonder if you really appreciate the gift. Drive it. Life is not only about giving thanks, it’s about living thanks.
Speaking of people who aren’t just talking about stuff, here’s a video of some young men and women that I am very proud of. They continue to inspire me. Enjoy!
Tell me what you think; this isn’t a one way street. Write in the comment section!