This post is the third in this week’s “Thanks” series that features quotes on thankfulness given by notable Christians. Kevin Daniel, writer of The Number Kevin, reflects on the following quote by Christian thinker and apologist G.K. Chesterton.
“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before I open a book, and before sketching, painting, swimming, walking, playing, dancing and before I dip the pen in the ink.”
I’ve never truly understood the concept of themed holidays. Really, if you need a day off, just take it. Are you theming your weekends as well? Weird. I have a friend whose favorite holiday is Flag Day. And I love that. It’s his way of calling out everybody’s crap, I think—“Hey, man. Happy Flag Day!”
Thanksgiving is especially bizarre. Let’s say aliens land on Earth; they’re from Jupiter…yeah, Jupiter. It also happens to be Thanksgiving. And, for kicks and giggles, let’s suppose they speak and understand English. Go ahead. Explain Thanksgiving to them.
“Every November we gather and cook a turkey. We watch the Lions and the Cowboys and eat way too much. Then, when mom bravely shuts off the TV, we’re forced to share what we’re thankful for, all under the guise that some meal was had between friendly ‘ingines’ and disease-ridden Pilgrims. Later, they all killed each other. We do it because we’re thankful.”
Really, what drives me crazy—yes, this criticism includes me—is the idea that thankfulness requires a holiday at all. Instead, a special thought: thankfulness requires a push.
Thanks, eh Million?
My favorite part of prayer is the thankfulness section. I often find myself speechless in the presence of God and all I can utter is thanks. I guess that’s okay. Faith is pretty abstract at times; however, gratitude is tangible: the air I breathe, the food I eat, the woman I share a bed with every night. It’s all gravy, man.
Side-note: Did the phrase “It’s all gravy” come from Thanksgiving?
Side Side-note: Maybe my trend of thankfulness in prayer is just a shallow attempt to make up for my many years of cold, youthful, unilateral prayer requests.
Whenever I feel selfish or owed to, I remind myself how foolish I’m being. I/you/we am/are not owed anything. We are graciously given life. God didn’t need us. He can accomplish whatever he wants without us. Yet he loved us enough to breathe life into our lungs. So here I am—and you. I don’t really understand it, but love only works if you can’t put it into words. That’s my theory, at least.
‘Grace’ to the Finish
Michael sent me a quote a few weeks ago—the one at the top—and I think it’s wonderful. Go ahead. Read it again; I’ll wait.
Beautiful, right? I agree. The times I exist in a constant state of thankfulness are the times I am most in tune with God…funny how that works. By focusing on the deeds of others or the gifts from God, we inadvertently kill any pride or selfishness lingering in our hearts. It’s not always easy. Lucky for us, there is plenty to be thankful for, plenty of practice.
I’d like to add a couple “say grace” items to G.K Chesterton’s list, if I may: lattes, pumpkin pie, Netflix, fresh snowfall; The Avett Brother’s I and Love and You; that chapter that knocks you off your chair and involuntarily keeps you reading; sleeping in.
Side-note: I live in Upstate New York. The weather has dropped and the wind is blustery. I have to walk to a bus stop to get to campus. The other day I could barely feel my fingers, but I was extremely happy to have fingers.
Where do you look for God? The Bible is a great place to start. He’s in there, for sure. I read it and I’m thankful for it. But the Bible does not contain all of God. The Bible is not God’s horcrux.
These days I find God is everywhere. He’s with me and is a part of everything I do. He’s in the people I meet, those I bless and those who bless me. You can call it the Spirit or the Holy Ghost or whatever. I’m not concerned with labels. But he’s with me.
Here’s another quote. I think it connects well…from a song called “Every Thought a Thought of You” by mewithoutYou. I really like it:
“You wear a thin disguise, O, Light inside my brother’s eyes.”
I’m thankful today that God is with us, with me and with you…even the aliens on Jupiter. Enjoy your turkey, friends. God bless.
Read more by Kevin on his blog The Number Kevin.