It is good to have a day to remind us to give thanks whatever the background of the holiday may be. So often it is tempting to look at the problems, the challenges, the nightmare the world often presents. And where our focus goes, so the world will seem to us.
I recall a woman I knew who had a life I did not envy. She had a debilitating disease and a series of horrific events in her family. But she always seemed happy. When I asked her how she did managed to be so happy in light of everything she had to meet she replied, "I guess, I'm just waiting for something terrible to happen!" She had a twinkle in her eye and was laughing when she said it, and I felt a shiver of standing in the presence of something bigger than both of us. Clearly, she saw there was nothing that was more than she was capable of handling. And she was grateful for all of the good in her life, refusing to focus on the hardships.
At a time when struggles of various sorts have seemed to be my constant companions I think of her. Life is full of challenges. Our attitude toward the challenges is the only thing we can control at times. If we can give thanks and turn our face to the light, as Helen Keller once said, "you cannot see a shadow."
Here's to thanks giving.