I was walking along thinking about how to tie Traci Smith’s beautiful Gratitude calendar to Forgiveness. It made me think about all the jokes about the tension around an increasing number of Thanksgiving tables. That, in turn, made me think about the reason people gather at Thanksgiving. Those thoughts brought me back to – it’s all about relationship. I believe it really is – that everything in this great wide, amazing world is all about relationship whether it be the relationships between ourselves and God, ourselves and other people or ourselves and the natural world, it’s all about relationship.
Let’s start with the apparent dichotomy between Gratitude and Forgiveness. If you think about it for a minute, gratitude pretty much by definition requires our being grateful to someone or something in one way or another. Forgiveness also pretty much by definition requires another person to:
a) have wronged in the first place;
b) name our sin to;
c) ask forgiveness of;
d) receive and accept forgiveness from
e) both move forward with, acknowledging but forgiving what happened.
It’s all about relationship. Going one step further and deeper, once you have given or received forgiveness what do you feel? Hmmm…something suspiciously like gratitude.
God created everything for good. It doesn’t always stay that way, but that IS the default setting. God also created us for relationship. If only we can get out of our own heads, if we can focus out instead of in, if we can operate from the place of abundance of God’s grace and mercy rather than scarcity – we can then work on being the people that God put us here to be, rather than the people the world has molded us into. Simple, but far from easy.
Simple things, done with great love.
Director of Children and Young Families