Apple pie or pumpkin? Traditional cranberry sauce or out of a can? White meat or dark?
Who are you? This day? As we pop the cork on another Thanksgiving, the answer to that question can be as easy as a perfect meal with family and friends and favorite side dishes and desserts.
Or it can affect your life, your family, your world…forever.
Who are you? As you lift your head up to this day, all sleepy-eyed or bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, make no mistake. You are being counted. Another one up. Another….
If God is counting…If the Universe is tallying…If the cosmic forces are choosing their teams…
What are they saying when you get up?
When you get up today…?
Some will be counted in the darkness. Some will be cheered in the light. Some will raise their hands to be picked for good. Some will slip out of bed in the morning chill and throw on their bad intentions.
Who will you be?
Today is our day of thanksgiving. Although we can’t seem to agree on religion or politics or football teams or uncountable other things, we, amazingly, all decide to sit down on this day to share some version of the same dinner.
What do we bring to the table? And, maybe more importantly, what do we leave with?
What are you bringing? I mean, besides the green bean casserole or the extra pie? What are you bringing to the table?
To these people you were born to…to these people you chose….to these people who will cross your path for whatever reason this day…
What are you giving them? How will they count you? You know they are counting…
We all try to have these Martha Stewart-like holidays, with glossy magazine-cover table spreads and picture-perfect dishes. We find new ways on Pinterest to make our turkey moist, make our potatoes less lumpy, make our pie crust taste better.
And, too often, we just try to get through it. The clatter and chatter drown out realities that just don’t match the beautiful table cloths. Quiet problems screaming, unheard amidst the clambering for more stuffing and gravy. The scramble to cook. The rush to get back from the parade or to the game or off to shopping.
Let’s not miss the moment this year. This day. This time around. That moment when we decide that “everyone’s here” and “the food’s ready.” Let’s take this moment. Let’s seize it and squeeze it and hold it dear.
And let’s each of us, be thankful… for the choices. Among so many other things we may be blessed with, let’s count this near the top, near the best.
Our choices. Our choices, each.
Because it is our great gift to choose that grants us to change how we will be counted tomorrow. It is our choice to ask for help, to go get help, to move or to stay, to lower a fist or to raise one, to open our eyes or close them, to try a different way.
In a world that so many of us fear is growing darker, scarier and more dangerous….We can see this darkness as a doom. As a scourge. As a destiny.
Or we can decide that the darkness gives us the ability to better see the light.
What could that beautiful light cast upon you?
There are a lot of hidden things coming to dinner today. Some will bring the screaming secrets of hopelessness, of depression, of anger, of pain. Some will be at the end of the line, at the end of their ropes, at a crossroads, stirring their drink with a final straw….
Let’s remember to be thankful for the choices. To voice them and share them, to give them and pass them around the table. The sweet reminders that we don’t have to be counted the same each day. That we can change.
That is our choice and, blessedly, ours alone.
We don’t have to be who we were back then, not even yesterday. Life is not counted in Thanksgivings we get. It’s counted in those we give. In those we seek. In those we choose. As much as Thanksgiving tradition is about the past, Thanksgiving is about giving. About giving forward, to a future just a moment away.
We can’t fix everything today. Not about our meal. Not about our lives. Not about our loved ones. Not about our world.
But let’s give great thanks for the choices because, with these, we have hope. With these we have wings.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. May you wake up tomorrow and be counted as alive and grateful. May you be tallied on the side of good, the team of light. Maybe you raise your hand and offer to be part of the solution, part of the right. May you use your choices to take the high road and find yourself there….
With a great piece of your favorite pie.