Thursday, November 16, 2006

RUNNING INTO THANKSGIVING

This begins a series of daily posts that, taken together, will form "A Thanksgiving Primer." Return to bikehiker daily through November 24 for shared poetry, quotes, and reflections. Watch for this photo/icon amid other posts. Also...know that I take Advent quite seriously, searching for and offering resources here that can move the season from one of numbing frenzy into contemplative preparation. Advent reflections begin December 3.

'TIS THE WEEK BEFORE THANKSGIVING. We don't count down the days to Thanksgiving like we do to Christmas. But we all know Thanksgiving marks the unofficial beginning of the extended holiday season. So, only seven days left! Got turkey?

SEASONAL GEAR SHIFT. Get ready to shift gears. You've already seen and sensed it at the superstores. I'm acutely aware of a quickening pace thru planning for Advent and Christmastide with the church. I'm way down the road and having to bring myself back to Thanksgiving. I remind myself: Don’t rush past Thanksgiving; don’t take it for granted. Be present to the day, the moment; tune into its unique grace.

SET THE PACE THIS WEEK. Maybe Thanksgiving could actually set a careful, measured pace for all that follows. Instead of running through Thanksgiving and slamming into Christmas, could we possibly make this week count as a pacesetter? Take a few moments to make some decisions about how you will spend time over the next month or so. Approach the season through Thanksgiving.

HARVEST OF THE HEART. I found the following insight in Howard Thurman’s For the Inward Journey: “Great and significant as is the harvest in nature, the most pertinent kind of ingathering of the human spirit is what I call ‘the harvest of the heart.’ Living is a shared process. Inasmuch as I do not live or die unto myself, it is of the essence of wisdom for me conscientiously to live and die in the profound awareness of other people. The statement, ‘Know thyself,’ has been taken mystically from the statement, ‘Thou hast seen thy brother, thou has seen thy God.’”

CONFESSING OUR THANKS. For whom, for what, might we give thanks this week? Stop to consider, or contemplate on your way down the road. Not a conjured sentimentality, but a gratitude that might arise from depths of contemplation or a moment’s realization of our sacred interconnectedness. And dare we confess our modest appreciation to these beloved ones? Be careful, gratitude might be contagious.

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