Giving Thanks Under Pressure

11 30 15 ThanksgivingHow was your Thanksgiving weekend? Did any of the Thanksgiving dinner vegetables get burnt? Did the baby knock the gravy all over the tablecloth? Were there any sibling knock-down drag-out fights? Were you still thankful?

My weekend vacation plans did not go as I had planned. It was more like a rollercoaster, first good, then bad, then very bad, then very good. Up, down, up, down with a few big dips and big rises. In mathematical terms I calculated it to be a cumulative “net zero” effect, when in fact I had hoped for the weekend to be a big, positive effect.

While all these things were going on, I was reminded of a Bible scripture that says: “in everything give thanks.” Not for everything, but in or during everything. While we are not thankful for the bad things that might happen, we can remain peaceful despite the fact that those bad things happened.

How many times do we lay out expectations in our mind for how events will go and then when things do not go as planned we get rattled? Sometimes things happen and we are disappointed, but not everything is in our control. The one thing we can control however, is how we feel about it. We can choose what we focus on. This perhaps is the essence of Thanksgiving.

I know the Pilgrims had their struggles when they first landed in the New World, but ultimately they were thankful on the first Thanksgiving. And they didn’t even have microwaves! Let’s be thankful we live in this century!

Back to that gravy on the tablecloth – when you got to the end of the day did it really matter? Did the cherubic face of the sleeping baby at the end of the day put a smile on your face? When it comes to taking photos on our vacations, isn’t it amazing that we take more photos and videos of our best, good memories and not photos of the bad incidents? We will play those videos over and over, just as I am doing with mine!

So the next time when things are going wrong, remind yourself that “this too shall pass.” Focus on the positive. Ride the rollercoaster of life.

In every thing, give thanks.


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