This is the week to think about those things for which we should be thankful. Here's a list of some of my major thanksgivings:
1: The many gifts and blessings from God. I'm actually pretty good at a couple of things and not bad at a bunch more. I'm relatively healthy (for a rapidly aging person), I still have my wits about me and I still love life.
2: My wife. It was hard not to put her at the top of this list. Of all my blessings she's been number one. I could go on and on about how wonderful I think she is, but that just embarrasses her. If you know her, you already know what a great person she is. (Entirely too good for the likes of me!)
3: My daughter. Boy was she a surprise 19 years ago! And has been a delight and surprise and wonder ever since. She is every bit as amazing to me as her mom. I just tried not to mess her up as her father.
4: My parents. Both gone now, Dad for six years, Mom for just over one. It's amazing how much of them I find inside me, or see in my daughter. It's even more amazing that with each passing year I realize how much I learned them. They were amazing people and who I am I owe in large part to them.
5: My brothers. I have two amazing brothers. I won't embarrass them by going on and on (we don't do that in our family) but suffice to say I respect and love them both.
6: The young people I've worked with over the last 15 years or so. These people are an ongoing inspiration for me. I can't imagine why they want to hang out with this grown up geek or why they seem to have such affection for me. Fortunately in my personal faith walk I'm comfortable with mystery so I'll leave it at that. I love all "my" kids, past, present and future. You've had an huge impact on my spiritual journey. I hope I've had a fraction of that on yours.
7: The adults I work/minster with. This is an incredibly diverse group of people, young and old, clergy and lay, male and female. I know I irritate them sometimes, I hope I inspire them sometimes too.
8: My home congregation. Can't forget them. Can't begin to tell you how much they mean to me and my family, and how much they've done for us. I just don't have the words.
This barely scratches the surface but let me stop before this looks like a "Top Ten" list. My life has been blessed by my many friends, by folks I don't know (the pall bearers in the snow storm!), even by people I never really liked. I need to thank God for each and every one of you.
Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.