Making things better the way to go


Like a lot of people, I am concerned about the increase in food prices. Inflation is literally eating our lunch. Little packages of Chicken Rotisserie or Cranberry Turkey salad have increased by two dollars. My wife asked me, “What do you want for Thanksgiving ? The price of turkey has gone up quite s bit. How about vegetarian?”

Now, I know that this may be heresy to some Texans, but my point is that Thanksgiving is about how we appreciate our lives. It’s about gratitude, not attitude.

The New Testament features discussion about believers being concerned about dietary laws.

Romans 14:1-23

“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

So there appears to be flexibility and tolerance to accept differences here in the Early Christian Community.

Which brings me back to what are those things for which we are thankful?

First, the obvious, we have life and most of us, generally speaking, have good health. We are not living in a war zone like Ukraine and we don’t report like the Veteran in the song “Shot At Me” when David Crosby observes “Run to the woods, and laugh all the way, nobody shot at me today.”

Thanksgiving really offers you and me the opportunity to reflect upon how we live our lives: what is important for us; what do you want to stand for ; What do you want to be remembered for?

Yes, it’s a uncomfortable truth to recognize that we only have so much time allotted to us. The challenge becomes what can we do to make the most of the time that we have left on this earth ?

This Thanksgiving, what will it be for you ? Do you express gratitude or attitude? You may have had a bad childhood, difficult parents and family to deal with, maybe you suffered physical or sexual abuse.  Those hurts are real. No one can diminish the impact of those experiences on your life.

The challenge now is what do you do now with this history ? You can chose to be trapped by it or perhaps you can choose to help others not to feel so bad, but to feel better.

As Lennon And McCartney observed: “Take a sad song and make it better.”

The choice is yours, gratitude or attitude.

I pray that we can choose life and choose it abundantly.

May it be so.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Rev. Peter E. Bauer is a United Church of Christ minister. He is the Interim Minister for First Christian Church in Lockhart. He Rev. Peter E. Bauer has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and Meduim.Com.


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