Last week was Thanksgiving. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and made many happy memories with their family and friends! When you celebrate Thanksgiving, does your family ever take time out to say what they’re thankful for? After all, that is what Thanksgiving is all about, right?
But, what about the rest of the year? Do we consistently think about the things or people that we are grateful for? We should. Most of us have stressful lives, filled with busyness and hassles. However, they are blessed, nonetheless. Oftentimes, we have to look at our lives with the proper perspective in order to gain a proper view on how blessed we truly are.
Earlier this month, I watched an episode of “20/20” which recounted the story of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Many of you will remember that she was shot at point-blank range back in January. Miraculously, she survived. But, she came away with severe brain damage. Her recovery process was very long and strenuous and she is still recovering to this day.
As I watched the video footage that her husband, Mark Kelly, took of her in the hospital, I found myself very moved. I started to imagine if one of my loved ones was in that place or if I was in that place and my parents and sister had to take care of me. How difficult and heartbreaking would it be for anyone to lose their ability to speak and react at a cognitive level? The basic skill of communication was a mountain to climb for Gabrielle Giffords. She had many months of therapy, relearning words that a preschooler would have already mastered. She had her breakthroughs and her breakdowns, but she still continued to fight.
Her husband was there by her side the entire time. When Gabrielle first started the recuperation process, Mark said, “This is what those wedding vows mean.” Despite Gabrielle being seriously injured, she had her husband and her mother to take care of her. And, despite the horrible injuries Gabrielle suffered, she was still alive, something that her family was very thankful for.
After I watched the story and interview with Gabrielle and Mark, I was very thankful. Thankful that I had control over my mind and my thought processes. Thankful that I could clearly speak and communicate with others. Thankful that I was not in a hospital bed, fighting for my life. There are many things to be thankful for…
It shouldn’t take such a heartbreaking story to act as a wake-up call. When we’re having a bad day and we feel like everything is working against us, we won’t always have a moment of inspiration to snap us back onto the right track. We won’t always feel like being grateful. But, we should. Every day is a gift. Every day is an opportunity to seize life by the reigns and live life out loud.
“Every breath is a second chance.” Switchfoot
“All the time while you’re looking away, there are things you can do, man, there are things you can say unto the ones you’re with, with whom you’re spending the day. Get your gaze off tomorrow and come what may.” John Butler Trio
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Stop, can’t you see? It’s not the circumstances that determine who you’re gonna be, but how you deal with these problems and pains that come your way. It’s for you that I pray with hope for a brighter day. So, I say, your deliverance is coming.” Mat Kearney
Life will always be hard. And there isn’t a simple remedy to fix that. But, being joyful and thankful in all circumstances is a good place to start. If we do this, we have something worth while to hold on to. And, more often than not, we’ll see that we really don’t have it that bad.