Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Simple Gifts: Thanksgiving Thoughts

Our harvests come one trip to the grocery after another. We can't remember having planted. Our safety through a hard winter is a foregone conclusion. Our shelters are built for us--we merely pay the mortgage. And disease is something we scoff at--H1Nwhat? How can we relate to the seafaring lot who landed on strange shores and scraped a living from the soil thanks to helpful locals? How can we even hope to find a place for gratefulness as we approach Thursday?

Perhaps a dose of one of the classic Christian disciplines might be in line for our holiday maladies. When we are silent, we appreciate our ability to speak. When we practice solitude, we learn to relish the presence of others. When we fast, we appreciate the taste of the simplest meal. When we serve the poor, we are grateful that we have plenty. When we sacrifice, we recognize our abundance.

I love the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts.

Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free.
Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be.
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gained,
to bow and to bend we shall not be ashamed.
To turn, turn, will be our delight,
till by turning, turning we come round right.

Perhaps this week you will find time for the simple joys of simplicity.


Anonymous said...

A time for thanks
A time to give
A time of harvest
So that others might live.

A time of family
A time of friends
A time to worship
With broken heart tuned to His.

kdwmson said...

I first became aware of those words in the Shaker Hymn from a book titled "Beyond the Rat Race" by Art Gish. It is so tough to keep life simple. I find myself determined to make it as hard and complicated as possible!

Here's to a blessed and meditative Thanksgiving. May we remember the five kernels of corn that were all the Pilgrims had at one point as their day's meal.

Zee said...

thank you.

Mark said...

Thank you for the simplicity of your written thoughts and words for me/us to reflect on, it gives me great joy.