As we enter the month of November, our thoughts turn toward the Thanksgiving celebration. This is obviously the season to focus upon and be grateful for the blessings and continued faithfulness of God. I came across a quote from Catholic priest and author Henri Nouwen that helps us place this season (indeed, all of life) in proper perspective:
“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say "thank you" to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let's not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.”
Pastor Nouwen’s words beautifully articulate the power of gratitude to positively impact our lives. I have discovered in my own journey of faith that gratitude results in joy, despite what might be occurring in my life. I trust the same will be true for you. Psalm 95:1-2 reminds us: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with Thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
Keep the faith,
Originally from Huntington Beach, CA, Tony received his Bachelor's degree in religion from USC and his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Talbot School of Theology. Tony loves spending time with his wife, Sheri, and their two sons and daughter (Bryce, Braden, and Brooke); cheering for the USC Trojan football team; and playing tennis.