I’m sipping coffee, I know what else is new? But as I sit here with my caffeine companion, blue cup, steam brimming from its edges and handle inviting me to grasp and chug down its contents, I am drawn to this topic of thanksgiving. There’s a little film booth in my mind churning over snap shots and feature length moments of my life. The booth is dark but for the flickering of projector light as dust dances in its wobbly yet dazzling rays of ambient lumens. On screen, I am seven years of age. Sun burst of blonde hair apparently free from the clutches of Dad’s comb that day laying every which way. I am content. No, better than content, I am full of joy and warmth. It’s like that moment when you will finally see long lost relatives again that you’ve been anxiously longing to see since last you met. Add to that euphoric sense the emotion of a snoozing Saturday when you have to plan, no chore list and absolutely no where to be.
I am more than content. I am happy. Isn’t it funny the small things that bring us joy? The plastic bag of army men that probably cost 50 cents down at the convenience store clutched in a seven year old’s hands equaled joy that day. Playing on Mom and Dad’s bed with folds of blankets, flowery in a sunburst pattern, abruptly becoming mountain ranges and ocean floors in some cosmic battle between good and evil (evil was slowly scaling the mountain only to be repelled again).
But it wasn’t the plastic arm men that gave joy, it wasn’t their ongoing battle that filled me with jubilation and peace, it was where I was. And where I was can only be felt in the loving arms of children guided and loved by parents who cared. We were loved. Nothing greater a gift can be given to your children, than a consistent kind of love and affection! I am thankful today for the places, the face, the small joys that I have experienced along the way. Something as small as green plastic army men on my parents bed still brings me joy.
May we still find these simplistic moments in our ever complicated lives. I hope we never lose our child-like innocence and faith. I’m thankful for still frames, images, moments that still replay in my mind. These aren’t just memories, they are a part of who I was and who I have become. Dare I say that we all have these moments of pure joy and peace. When we felt secure, warm and loved. It was never about any kind of materialistic gift, but rather, it was about parents who took the time to care and to show it.
Parents, never forget how it was to be a child. Never lose sight of the fact that life is still full of mystery and wonder. Don’t whittle it away with logic and skepticism. Faith begins in the heart of a child. Matthew 18:3 says, “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” We need to return to the mystery of life once more.
Just a simple thought of thanksgiving today.