I have a confession to make. I do realize how blessed I am to have family, friends, a wonderful husband, relative health and wealth, and more or less everything I could ever need plus many if not most of the things I want. I should be grateful beyond measure. But the truth is, I more often find things to bemoan or gripe about than I do to be grateful for.
How dare I complain about anything, or wish things were better, or spend even one moment dreaming or plotting to improve one or another area of my life when I already have so much to be thankful for? Each time I see a headline or read the prayer requests on Facebook, I’m reminded that things could be much worse, and sadly, may be, one day soon. (After all, I’m not getting any younger.)
Part of it is being a perfectionist. I have very high expectations. If they’re not met, I feel sadness and disappointment. If anyone has a cure for this unproductive malady, let me know. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with aspiring to be the best you can be, anything – anything – served up in too big a batch, has a way of metamorphosing into something sour.
Power corrupts, and gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. We take our rights, and use them to destroy instead of building up. Too much of any good thing can so easily go bad.
Thanksgiving should be about being grateful. Christmas should be about love coming down to save us. Instead, it seems that both holidays have become about excess and greed – shopping frantically and desperately grasping for things we don’t need instead of being grateful for what we already have.
So your turkey is dry instead of moist, or the crust on the pumpkin pie is burned, or it’s cold and snowy and the roads are slippery on Thanksgiving Day. So there’s friction from the family around the table or you feel the sniffles coming on or someone is late. So that beautifully wrapped box under the tree turns out to be something you never would have bought and don’t even want – please don’t let unrealistic expectations rob you of your contentment and satisfaction and the things that are really important in life.
This year, as you gather together with your family or friends, as you look around at the beauty that surrounds you, give thanks with a grateful heart.