The Duncan Banner

November 24, 2013

Blessings surround us all daily

Ed Darling
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving Day is less than a week away. It seems like only yesterday we were all planning summer vacations, getting ready for a new school year or marking down key football games on a fresh, clean schedule.

Now, you’re looking forward to a nice visit with your family or relatives you don’t often see. Visions of that traditional, bountiful meal, stimulating conversations and a day far from the pressures of work are on your mind.

Things in general, you think, are going pretty well. Life is full. Success is, seemingly, yours. And while dark clouds occasionally appear, you’ve been able to maintain a sense of control. Life is good.

Let me encourage you, with sincerity, to think not just about the season, but the meaningful components of each and every day and to ask if you have really taken time to be thankful for the finer things in life.

I’m not talking about that big, sleek car in your garage. I make no reference to your lavishly furnished home. I’m not interested in the size of your wallet. Or that your prosperous company has an impressive bottom line.

I’m talking about the truly important things, the ones we need to remember.

Like good health. Like the miracle of life itself and the many mysteries that should only make us appreciate it even more.

I’m asking if you’ve taken time to think about the love of a parent or a spouse, memories of your childhood, glimpses of happy times past.

I’m curious if you’ve given thought to the innocence and honesty of youth, if you’ve stopped to appreciate the grin and giggle of a small child.

I’m asking if you’re grateful for the opportunity to kneel at an altar, to focus on a cross.

I’m wondering if you’ve thought about the magic of nature, the cleansing beauty of rain or the daily rebirth brought on by the rising of the sun. Or if you’ve recently stopped to enjoy the majesty of a tree or a flower in full bloom.

I’m asking, especially, if you understand the gifts of sight, of smell, of touch and all the wonderful things each enables us to enjoy.

I’m wondering, too, if you’re grateful for the chance to simply be human, to make and learn from your mistakes, to share your strengths in helping others, to give instead of take.

I’m asking if you appreciate the pleasantries of a firm handshake, a gentle hug or a glowing smile, Or even the warm nuzzle of a faithful pet.

I’m wondering if you know how rare a real friendship truly is, how significant a concerned ear can be.

I’m curious if words like honor, patience, compassion, companionship, forgiveness, love, understanding and sacrifice have special meaning for you.

I’m asking if you’re grateful for death, not for the pain it brings, but for the eternal reward if offers.

I’m wondering about life’s little things, life’s important things, about priorities and how serious we are about putting them in an order that means something of substance.

And I’m curious what you might say to that friend, that co-worker or that family member if you had just one more chance.

It seems to me ours, for the most part, is a world of make-believe, of self-inflicted pressures, of endless goals and aspirations, of too little time to halt the whirl and to casually bask in all the tiny, magical moments.

It’s also a world of beauty, of meaning, of sharing and of great thanksgiving.

On our worst day, we’re fortunate, lucky people. All of us.

Pausing privately to focus on those personal blessings makes it only that much more apparent. The quiet time affords each of us the chance to recount a myriad of happy events and activities, some significant only to ourselves.

It’s a wonderfully enlightening and soothing exercise, one capable of creating a smile or providing a degree of sanity in a sometimes crazy, spinning world, one capable of delivering a powerfully positive message.

I hope you’ll find the occasion soon in your busy schedule to take that inward look, to pause and reflect, to laugh, to cry, to enjoy, to feel, to think and to remember.

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner, but we don’t have to wait until then to count our many blessings.                                                                                             

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