Saturday, November 17, 2012


'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free. 'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be. And when we find ourselves in the place just right, 'twill be in the valley of love and delight.

In the words of this Shaker hymn, I am grateful for the simple but great aspects of our lives that we shall never take for granted as they are eternal. The dawn of each morning brings us the light that has awakened our ancestors and will enliven our descendants. The first breath we took at our birth and the last that we draw as we reach the end of our weary path is from the same vital element of air that invigorated our forefathers and we give to our children and those who will inherit all that is beautiful in our world.

When I was a small boy, I eagerly rose from my bed to greet the sun and I zealously announced to my family that the sun indeed was up. No matter what turmoil or tumult encircled our fragile planet, I knew that a new day bore great promise for me and I wanted everyone to celebrate the promise of the first rays of light that struck my bedroom window.

The darkest hour of doubt and fear, the storm and tempest of uncertainty will always give way to God's light that illuminates our lives daily. The simple gift of waking to a new world is enough for me to express my gratitude. I open my eyes to a family that loves me, friends who cherish me, and work that has yet to be done. I know that I cannot do this alone and I am glad that great work can be made simpler with many hands working beside me.

And when I waje from this dream called life, I know that the breadth of my existence was the sum of the seemingly minute and minor things that comprised all that I knew, all that I experienced, and all that I embraced. The smiles, the laughter, the hopes, the wishes, the prayers, the peace and the love were part of the greater good I hope that I have done for my God and my brothers.

Once again, it is the season of thanks and I close with words from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Thanksgiving proclamation of 1942:

"Across the uncertain ways of space and time our hearts echo these words, for the days are with us again, at the gathering of the harvest, we solemnly express our dependence upon almighty God.

For this, we are eternally grateful. Amen.

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