So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I sat up a few nights ago thinking about Thanksgiving. It’s probably one of the more difficult holidays for me. It doesn't make sense sometime; why do I need a special day to be thankful for stuff? Why can’t I just be thankful all the time?
Problem is, I’m rarely thankful. And sometimes, it feels downright impossible to be thankful. To be honest, the last year has been painful. I’ve had some pretty incredible moments and experiences, but I’ve felt more pain than I think I ever have before. It’s hard to adapt to a certain rhythm and begin to feel stable and then have that ripped out from under you. I look at my small world around me, at those closest to me. Everything looks drastically different today than from a year ago, and while there’s a lot of good to that there’s a lot that I wish would have never changed. It’s not an easy thing to talk about either. I’m finding myself less vulnerable than usual, and i don’t necessarily know if that’s a good thing. I’ve always liked being an open book; when there’s nothing unspoken, there’s nothing to hide. But it’s not like I feel like I’m hiding anything, the book’s still open and I’ve still got the words but I don’t know if anyone’s wanting to read anymore.
Thanksgiving to me has always felt disingenuous. I want to cultivate thankfulness as a mindset, not an event. I always feel obligated on Thanksgiving to be happy, to post something on social media listing all the friends that I’m thankful for, to be nice to my family, and to ignore my own stresses and difficulties. But why do I not just do those things to begin with? I really do have a lot of things to be grateful for. I never want to downplay or forget that. I just want to discover how to smooth out the peaks and valleys, how to come to terms with the challenges I face and handle them in the context of gratitude.
So tonight, at 3:11am on Friday morning, I am thankful for espresso. I am thankful for my olive-throwing aim. I am thankful for slightly frozen Dr. pepper. I am thankful for the black walls of my apartment and the silver words of inspiration surrounding me. I am thankful for To Pimp A Butterfly. I am thankful for the children of Swaziland.
I am thankful for a family that is learning how to breathe in the midst of a suffocating mess.
I am thankful for a job where I can pour out my heart and soul in an attempt to point people toward the life changing reality of Jesus.
I am thankful for the close friends who challenge me, love me, and keep me from losing my sanity.
I am thankful for the guys who flow in and out of my apartment every day, and for every bit of laughter, strife, and love that happens in an attempt to figure out how to do life together.
I am thankful for every challenge this year, for all of the people who have walked in and out of my life, and for the growth that’s stemmed from it all.
I am thankful for a loving Savior and for the adventure that walking with God truly is. It doesn’t always make sense, and it usually seems crazy. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here’s to the new year.