Looking Up

Can you believe Thanksgiving is just days away?  What does that mean to you this year?  Is it another year you will be unable to be with family?  With all that is going on in our world, are you finding it hard to be thankful? 

There’s a quote from Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol which says “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”  I love Christmas and the Christian significance of it but Thanksgiving is pretty great too because it’s simply about giving thanks for all things big and small.  With Thanksgiving, there’s no pressure of gift giving, and in my house there’s not so much baking, which means there’s fewer pounds to work off after.   

So, while I love the quote, I’d like to take the word Christmas and replace it with Thanksgiving.  Hopefully that’s okay with you and Charles Dickens.  I think that if we could all honour Thanksgiving in our hearts all year long, the impact in our world would be powerful, nevermind the positive effect on your life.

How do be thankful on a daily basis when the world seems to be going crazy and things look bleak?  I’m not here to say it’s easy but it is possible.  When my son was going through cancer treatment in the hospital six years ago, we had a view of the pit that was being worked on in order to build what is now the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon.  It wasn’t the greatest view if I looked down but I made the choice to look up and beyond.  In one of the darkest days of my life, no one would’ve blamed me for looking down and thinking of how ugly the view was, how horrible life seemed to be, and how it wasn’t fair.  I’m not saying the situation we were in wasn’t awful but I’m so glad I looked up that day and found something to be thankful for in the midst of the horrible.  What I saw was a perfectly blue sky, and if I looked further, I could see the trees that line the river which is always a beautiful sight to me.  

By choosing to look up that day and seeing the blue sky and the trees instead of the dark, messy, and gloomy view below, I was reminded that goodness and beauty can exist at the same time as pain and suffering. There’s certainly a time to sit in time of pain and suffering but I’ve found it does a spirit good to also allow our hearts to look up on occasion and look for something to be thankful for at the same time. It turns out that this idea isn’t mine. That’s because it’s biblical and it was something I heard every since I was a child. Check out 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. I promise you it’s good for your heart.

In the midst of all that is horrible these days, what are you thankful for?  At Mennonite Trust, we are truly thankful for each one of our clients.  We’re thankful for the trust you place in us to help guide you, work with you, and serve you.  We don’t take that trust for granted and hope you feel valued and appreciated and perhaps find encouragement that there is blue sky out there somewhere.   

Diane Enns, Waldheim Branch Manager