Chaplain’s thoughts … November 13, 2015

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November is the month in which the United States celebrates Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a civil holiday, yet it has deep spiritual and religious roots. It is a great time to express gratitude not only to the people whose lives have made a difference in our own, but more importantly, it is a time to thank God for the blessings we enjoy.

American poet and civil rights advocate Maya Angelou wrote, “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”

These two gifts of gratitude and faith are foundational to a healthy, vibrant and resilient life. Without gratitude, our lives turn inward, and we fixate upon ourselves. Gratitude looks outward and upward to acknowledge the blessings that flow from others and from God. It softens the impact of every hardship and setback, for it focuses upon what one has rather than upon what one does not have. Gratitude is the foundational attitude of Thanksgiving.

Faith welcomes good into our lives and circumstances. It sees what is true, noble, right, pure and lovely. Faith steps in when life tries to knock us down, it empowers us to overcome the struggles and hardships of life in ways we cannot fully explain nor comprehend, yet for the faithful it is enough.

May your Thanksgiving be marked by gratitude and faith. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.